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Candles lit for murdered PCSO Julia James as police vow to catch killer
5 May 2021, 09:05
Boris Johnson is among those to have paid tribute to murdered PSCO Julia James during a candlelight vigil held in her memory.
The 53-year-old's body was found in Akholt Wood, close to her home in the village of Snowdown near Dover in Kent, last Tuesday, and Kent Police have vowed to do "all we can" to bring her killer to justice.
Police have so far made no arrests, and no suspects have been identified in the killing,
The Prime Minister tweeted: "Tonight we remember PCSO Julia James.
"My thoughts are with her friends and family."
At Ms James' home in Snowdown, a candle was lit and left by her family in her front garden.
The candlelight vigil was suggested by her daughter Bethan Coles, who said it would be a "beautiful nod" to her mum.
In a Facebook post, Ms Coles said: "A number of people have asked about holding a vigil for Mum, and whilst I am so grateful for people wanting to remember her, I am very conscious that any gathering would need to be policed (if it was even allowed).
"I've discussed this with my family and we are in agreement that we would prefer all police resources to be concentrating on the investigation as there is so much work to be done."
Instead she suggested people wishing to remember her mother should light a candle for her and leave it on their doorstep.
She added: "This would be a beautiful nod to Mum in a way that doesn't intrude on the police investigation."
Kent Police earlier said they are "in deep shock" following the death of Ms James as the murder probe enters its second week.
Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said the force would do "all we can" to bring her killer to justice, but warned the community to be "very safe and very careful".
Tonight we remember PCSO Julia James.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 4, 2021
My thoughts are with her friends and family.
No arrests have been made in connection with the killing as police consider "all possible" motives to the incident which happened near Dover in Kent.
Speaking to ITV after visiting flowers left in her memory, the chief constable vowed to find Ms James' killer.
He said: "You can imagine that the force are in deep shock with regard to what's happened to Julia.
"We will do all we can to find out whoever did this to bring them to justice."
Tuesday marks a week since the 53-year-old's body was found in Akholt Wood, close to her home in the village of Snowdown.
The popular PCSO - described as "fiercely loyal" by her devastated family - died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog.
Police in Dover have urged members of the public to be "cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings" while out and about.
At a press conference on Friday, Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards 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.