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PCSO Julia James died from 'blunt trauma' to the head, police confirm
30 April 2021, 11:18 | Updated: 30 April 2021, 12:04
Police investigating the murder of PCSO Julia James have said she died from "significant" head injuries and they are not ruling out the possibility of a sexually motivated attack.
Ms James’s body was found in Akholt Wood in Snowdown near Dover earlier this week.
Officers investigating Ms James's death have said they are still trying to establish a motive for the murder and do not have any suspects.
Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said today: "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.
"We do not at this stage understand the motive."
"She has died from blunt trauma to the head... it wouldn't be appropriate for me to speak about precise weapons while we examine the circumstances."
Mr Richards said he could not rule out any motive, including the killer being someone she came across during her work, a stranger attack, sexual assault or a someone trying to steal her dog. He added that there was "no evidence that any of her possessions were missing".
He said Ms James was not on duty and was not in uniform at the time of her death. He said she had been working from home on the day she was killed and was not in uniform while she took her dog for a walk.
Her dog was found unharmed at the scene when police arrived.
Speaking at a press conference in Aylesham, he confirmed that Ms James had died from blunt trauma to the head but would not comment on any potential murder weapon.
Mr Richards said members of the public should be cautious but stressed it is being treated as an isolated incident.
"This is an awful incident but it's an incredibly rare and isolated incident not linked at this stage to any other offences," he said.
Floral tributes have been left to Ms James on the green in nearby Aylesham, close to the scene.
One well-wisher left flowers at the scene, saying: "A lot of people want to show their respects to her. (It's) very sad."
The murder came as a shock to a small community, with resident John Miller, 72, describing it as a "hell of a loss".
He said: "I can't believe it's true to be honest, everyone feels safe round here."
Police are still urging anyone with information to come forward as they investigate the murder of Ms James.
The death was originally viewed as "suspicious" but Kent Police confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that it is being treated as murder.
Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said it was "vitally important" that anyone who was in the area on Monday and Tuesday, who may have seen something suspicious, comes forward.
Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area on Monday and Tuesday April 26-27 who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.
They are encouraged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526.