Tributes paid to officer Julia James, 53, as Kent murder investigation continues

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Enterprise News and Pictures 30/4/21 Pic shows: Julia James, 53, a serving Kent police community support officer, who has been found murdered in woodland after she was last seen walking her dog. This photo of her was released today by Kent Police along with a tribute to her from her family. A post mortem examination was carried out on Thursday 29 April and revealed she had died from significant head injuries. No arrests have been made at this time but detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate have commenced a murder investigation and are examining all possibilities in terms of motive and suspects. A murder investigation was launched after her body was discovered in Akholt Wood, Snowdown, near Dover, just after 4pm on Tuesday. Mrs James' loyal Jack Russell was found staying beside her body when she found dead in an area popular with dog walkers. The PCSO had been off duty when she was killed and police have been carrying out fingertip searches of the woodland area and nearby fields as they investigate the murder case, codenamed Operation Sark. There was a heavy police presence police with a white tent erected in the woods and a few hundred metres away, a house with a car and a van parked on the drive was under police guard. Kent Police said they were pursuing "a number of lines of inquiry." Julia James, who lived in Aylesham, Kent, described as a "loving mum" and "pillar of the community," became a PCSO in 2007 where she is thought to have worked in the domestic violence unit and she was married to husband Paul. Her body was found just over two miles from where the Chillenden murders took place in 1996. Michael Stone was jailed for those murders, killing mother and daughter Lin and Megan Russell and their dog Lucy. Nine-year-old Josie Russell also suffered terrible injuries but survived the attack. Stone was sentenced to three life sentences with a tariff of 25 years and is due for re

Tributes have been paid to Police Community Support Officer Julia James who was found murdered on Tuesday.

Julia, 53, was found next to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown in Kent just before 4pm. She had been out walking her dog after working from home earlier that day when she was attacked.

A post mortem revealed she had died from significant head injuries.

The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, who have launched a murder investigation, are examining all possibilities in terms of motive and suspects. They are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area on Monday 26th and Tuesday April 27th who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.

They are urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video footage can submit it online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4601020121F07-PO1

Julia’s family said: “There are no words to adequately describe the void left in our lives by the death of our mum.

“She was so much to so many people; a wife, mother, daughter, nanny, sister and a friend.

“Mum was fiercely loyal, she loved with her whole heart and nothing was too much trouble for the people she cared about.

“She had a beautiful smile and was always quick to laugh, she was so naturally funny with a brilliant sense of humour.

“It’s difficult to describe a person in a few sentences, to describe who they truly were is impossible, but the people who knew her will know how kind she was and how she would bring so much fun and life to a room.

“Her loss will be felt by us every moment of every day. She will be so sorely missed. As a family we are trying to understand how we will navigate our lives without her, it seems an impossible task.

“We would like to thank everybody who has messaged and left flowers, the outpouring of love and support from friends, the local community and our policing family has been enormous.

“After meeting with the police we have every confidence that they are doing everything within their power to find the person responsible and I urge everybody who may have any information, however small or insignificant to contact the police. You could be helping us get justice for Julia.”

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards also paid tribute: “Julia was a dedicated PCSO who devoted years to serving the people of Kent.

“She was well liked by colleagues and members of the public showing commitment and passion for her job and we are all devastated by what has happened.

“She will be fondly remembered and missed by all who knew her.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies also remain with her family, friends and colleagues.”

He added: “We understand that people may be feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety following Julia’s death.

“We advise people in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established.

“The safety of our communities remains our priority and we urge anyone who has concerns to speak to our officers who are out and about in the local community or contact us.”

Julia joined Kent Police in 2008 as a crime reduction PCSO in east Kent and throughout her career served the local community.

Most recently Julia supported victims of domestic abuse in the Vulnerability Investigation Team, based at Canterbury police station.

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