Julia James: Murder investigation after female PCSO found dead

Body of mother of two discovered in remote hamlet

Ella Glover,Jane Dalton@JournoJane
Wednesday 28 April 2021 16:28
<p>Officers are stepping up their presence in the Snowdown area [file photo]</p>

Officers are stepping up their presence in the Snowdown area [file photo]

Detectives have launched a murder investigation after a police community support officer (PCSO) was found dead in a hamlet in Kent

The body of Julia James, 53, was discovered on Tuesday in Akholt Wood, Snowdown, between Dover and Canterbury.

Her death was initially considered “suspicious” but police later upgraded the investigation to murder.

Forensics officers have been combing the area for clues as to how the mother of two died, and have also cordoned off fields and set up a police tent.

Tom Richards, assistant chief constable of Kent Police, said: “It saddens me to confirm that the victim was a serving PCSO for Kent Police and whilst there is a full and thorough investigation under way 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.”

People in the Snowdown area should expect to see an increased police presence as officers tried to establish what happened, he said.

Officers want to speak to people who regularly visit the area “who may have seen something out of place and those who drove by who have dashcam footage”.

He urged people in the area to “remain vigilant” until the full circumstances are established. 

Villagers told Kent Live they were shocked by the news.

According to Kent Online, Ms James had a daughter who also works for the police and a 23-year-old son, and became a PCSO for Tenterden in 2013.

No arrests have been made.

People who were in the area on Monday and Tuesday who may have seen something unusual or suspicious are urged to contact Kent Police on 0800 0514 526.

Anyone with video footage can submit it online here.

Additional reporting by PA