A murder investigation opened after a police officer who was reportedly last seen walking her dog was found dead with head injuries.
Julia James has been described as “the nicest person I have ever met”. Flowers were left behind for the local PSCO in nearby Aylesham, with a note from The Guys in Blue saying, “Your duty is done. Make yourself comfortable now, we’ll take it from here! “
Parts of Snowdown will continue to be cordoned off while the investigation continues. However, police have not yet made any arrests for the murder of the 53-year-old.
The hamlet, surrounded by fields, is less than three miles from the village of Chillenden, where Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan were killed in a wildcat attack in July 1996 while walking their dogs.
The public is encouraged to provide information as the police are pursuing “a number of lines of investigation”.
On Thursday, forensic scientists in white suits were seen outside a tent in a nearby field while uniformed officers patrolled the area.
The field was an early focus of the homicide investigation. The white tent was erected just 200 meters from Mrs. James’ house.
Ms. James, whose body was found in Akholt Wood earlier this week, was reportedly last seen walking her dog.
She paid tribute to a touching flower homage that was left at the crime scene and said: “Dearest Julia RIP, you made me laugh!
“The nicest person I have ever met loves Becki x”
Members of the public have also planted flowers for the Community Support Officer on the green in nearby Aylesham.
A note read: “Rest in peace, beautiful lady and fly high, you will always be on our minds.
“Gone, but you will never be forgotten”
Another note commends Mrs. James for her “heart of gold”.
A grandmother who lives nearby and asks not to be named told the PA news agency: “I always walk in our house alone or with my grandson and my dog through the woods and you expect you to be safe, don’t you true?
“I’ll be more vigilant, conscious, and careful if I go out in the moment.”
After adding her own flowers to the growing pile of flower tributes for Mrs. James, the woman added, “Lots of people want to show her their respect. (It’s very sad.”
Meanwhile, a uniformed policeman stayed in front of the Snowdown house where Mrs. James was believed to have lived.
The murder came as a shock to a small community. 72-year-old John Miller described it as “the hell of loss”.
He told the PA news agency, “I can’t believe it’s true, to be honest. Everyone feels safe here.”
The police are still prompting anyone with information to come forward when they investigate the murder of Ms. James.
The death was originally considered “suspicious” but Kent Police confirmed yesterday afternoon that it was being treated as murder.
Deputy Police Chief Tom Richards said it was “vital” that anyone who was in the area Monday and Tuesday and who may have seen anything suspicious should report.
The officers would like to speak to anyone who was in the area on Monday and Tuesday, April 26th and 27th, and who may have seen something unusual or suspicious.
You are asked to contact the Kent Police Department on 0800 0514 526.
Anyone with video footage can submit it online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4601020121F07-PO1