'No clear suspect nor motive' in murdered police officer investigation

Kit Bradshaw reports on the third day of the murder investigation

Officers from the National Crime Agency are assisting Kent Police with the investigation into the murder of a police community support officer killed in a village in Kent who died from 'serious head injuries'.

Julia James, 53, was found dead in Ackholt Wood, close to the village of Snowdown on Tuesday (27 April).

Deputy Chief Constable Tom Richards said there are hundreds of officers on the investigation into her death but that there are currently no clear suspects or motive.

Police forensic and specialist search officers near the scene at Akholt Wood Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

"At this stage I do not have an identified suspect. We do not know what the motive of this attack is."

During a press conference the Assistant Chief Constable urged local people to be cautious.

"I do understand that local residents are concerned. That is completely natural.

"I would urge people if they have any concerns to report it to Kent Police immediately. People should be aware of their surrounding circumstances and situation."

He went on to add that it was thought she suffered blunt trauma, but wouldn't be drawn on whether a weapon was used.

In a tribute, Deputy Chief Constable Tom Richards said Julia was 'devoted' to her job.

"She was a hugely passionate, devoted individual who was completely committed to serving the people of Kent. She will be hugely missed and lost by her colleagues."

PCSO Julia James had worked for Kent Police since 2008, and was based at Canterbury Police station supporting victims of domestic violence. 

A PCSO looks at flowers and messages left in Aylesham, Kent, for PCSO Julia James Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

The mother-of-two was off duty and last seen walking her dog before her body was found.

Detectives have been carrying out searches in the local area and making enquiries, which will continue into the weekend.

A post mortem took place on Thursday where it was confirmed Julia had died from serious head injuries.

Meanwhile flowers have been left for Ms James in nearby Aylesham.

Kent Police has asked media outlets to include their contact details: You can contact Kent Police on the Witness Appeal Line 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video forage can submit it online.