Kent Police is broadening its search as part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of PCSO Julia James.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate have arranged for officers in Aylesham to expand their searches of the surrounding areas after Julia, 53, was found deceased next to Akholt Wood in Snowdown just before 4pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021.

Officers now have plans to carry out searches at a number of other locations in addition to the initial crime scene in and around the wood.

They also remain keen to hear from anyone who was within the area defined by the red lines on a map issued earlier this week (see above) between 1pm and 4.30pm on the day in question.

Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said: ‘I would like to thank the local community for their fantastic support so far. We are incredibly grateful for their compassion and patience whilst we continue this investigation.

‘Furthermore, we continue to urge anyone with information to contact us. We are keeping an open mind and not ruling anything out.’

Investigation so far

Julia James had been working at home that day before taking a walk towards Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area. She was found at around 4pm by members of the public and a post-mortem examination confirmed she had died of significant head injuries.

Detectives have released an image of Julia in the clothes she was last wearing.

Julia walking her Jack Russell Toby

The photo shows Julia walking her Jack Russell Toby while wearing a light blue waterproof coat, blue jeans and dark coloured Wellington style brown boots. It is the same clothing, apart from the gloves, which she wore on Tuesday 27 April.

The area on the map is contained by boundaries of the pathways of Spinney Lane to the North, Aylesham Road to the East, Holt Street to the South and Pond Lane to the West.

On Tuesday 4 May 2021, one week after Julia was killed, officers conducted numerous road checks to speak to motorists in the area. Between 12.30pm and 6.30pm a total of 449 vehicles were stopped and occupants spoken to.

ACC Richards added: ‘The local community will continue to see an increased police presence in the Aylesham and Snowdown areas whilst Kent Police supports residents and conducts enquiries.’

Contact us

Those with information are urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526. Anyone with video footage can submit it online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4601020121F07-PO1

By Ed