Kent Police is appealing for witnesses to come forward following the death of a woman near Dover.
Officers were called shortly after 4pm on Tuesday 27 April to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown where the body of a woman, aged 53 was found.
Police confirmed the body as serving police community support officer, 53-year-old Julia James. She had been found in woodland close to her home.
They are treating the death as suspicious and in the last hour have upgraded their investigation to a murder inquiry.
A tent has been erected over the site where she was found and a huge area has been cordoned off.
Near to the road lies a house and a traveller site-but miles of fields surrounding this area are part of the police crimes scene and is closed to the public.
Officers have asked locals to "remain vigilant", until the full details can be established
No arrests have been made at this time but detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are conducting enquiries to establish the circumstances and her death is being treated as suspicious.
Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 April who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.
They are urged to contact Kent Police on the Witness Appeal Line 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video forage can submit it online.
Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Police Tom Richards said: ‘Officers are carrying out a number of lines of enquiry to establish the circumstances and people in the Snowdown area will see an increased police presence as a result.'