Rebecca Barry has the latest on the murder investigation in which police have admitted they have no suspects or motives
The family of murdered PCSO Julia James have paid tribute to her, saying her loss will be felt "every moment of every day" and pleaded for anyone with information about her death to help get “justice” for her, as police revealed they have no motive or suspects.
The emotional tribute to the 53-year-old community support officer comes as murder detectives have yet to make any arrests and consider “all possible” motives to the killing near Dover in Kent.
Ms James died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog and her body was found in woods close to her home in the village of Snowdown on Tuesday.
Her Jack Russell was found unharmed.
In a touching tribute on Friday afternoon, her family recalled her “beautiful smile” and “brilliant sense of humour”.
They said in a statement released by her employer: “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.”
They added: “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.”
Ms James’ family also voiced their confidence in Kent Police’s investigation into her death.
They said: “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.”
At a press conference on Friday, Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards urged members of the public to be “vigilant” and “aware of their surroundings”.
Watch: Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards gives update on murder investigation
He declined to rule out that Ms James was killed by a stranger, someone she came across during her work, someone trying to steal her dog, or as part of a sexual assault.
Mr Richards would not comment on any potential murder weapon and also declined to say whether detectives had found signs of a struggle.
Ms James’s body was found just “a few hundred yards from her house”, he said.
Mr Richards said: “We do not at this stage have any identified suspects; we are keeping all options open to us while we fully investigate the circumstances of this matter and try to understand fully what happened.”
Ms James’s death has led to an outpouring of grief, as well as concern in a local community which is less than three miles from the village of Chillenden, where Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan were murdered in a savage attack while out walking their dogs in July 1996.
Ms James joined Kent Police in 2008 as a crime reduction PCSO and more recently had supported victims of domestic abuse based at Canterbury police station.