A PCSO found dead in Kent woodland has been named as 53-year-old Julia James.

Officers were called shortly after 4pm on Tuesday to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown, near Dover.



They found the body of the serving Kent Police PCSO and her death is being treated as suspicious.

Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has launched an investigation.

Neighbours described their horror after the discovery yesterday afternoon.

Leah Southwell, 18, said: “She was such a happy woman.

"She was married to her husband for 35 years and has a teenage son. 

"She was out waking her dogs at the time of the incident.

"She was so happy. So bubbly, if you were having a bad day she’d be there smiling at you and trying to make you laugh."

Another added: "I can’t believe it. She was a loving mum and the pillar of the community.

“This is devastating. She was a lovely woman. A terrific part of the community."



A Kent Police spokesman said: "Officers were called shortly after 4pm on Tuesday to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown where the body of a woman, aged 53 was found.

"The victim is a serving Kent Police PCSO Julia James.

"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."

Dozens of police cars were seen heading to the scene this morning. No arrests have been made at this time.

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.

"It saddens me to confirm that the victim was a serving PCSO for Kent Police and whilst there is a full and thorough investigation underway our thoughts also remain with her family, friends and colleagues.

"It is vitally important that anyone who was in the area on Monday and Tuesday who may have seen something suspicious gets in touch with us.

"We’re particularly keen to speak to those who regularly visit the area who may have seen something out of place and those who drove by who have dashcam footage.

"We would advise anyone in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established."

Officers are keen to speak to anyone in the area on Monday or Tuesday who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.

Anyone with information should call 0800 0514526 or can submit video footage online.




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