Original article from Kent Live
Police officers, forensic teams and search crews have been scouring the Kent countryside this afternoon as investigations into the death of PCSO Julia James continue.
Kent Police confirmed that a body found in woodland near Aylesham belonged to the 53-year-old mum and grandmother.
On Wednesday afternoon (April 28) the force revealed that a murder investigation had been launched.
The body was found in Akholt Wood which is situated between Aylesham and Snowdown, near Dover.
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Police were initially called on Tuesday (April 27) with a large presence remaining in place overnight and into the early hours of the morning.
A large police cordon was erected miles around the perimeter of Akholt Wood with dozens of officers guarding entrances.
The fast moving nature of this case means it can be a struggle to keep up with the facts of the case.
Below we’ve outlined all the key details and developments on a day that left a tiny Kent neighbourhood shocked to the core.
Who is Julia James?
Kent Police confirmed that the body found in Akholt Wood belonged to 53-year-old Julia James.
Julia was a serving Kent Police PCSO and is thought to have lived in the village of Snowdown.
She has been described as "lovely and smiley" by friends with tributes pouring in across social media.
She is thought to have loved walking her dog, a jack russell, with multiple neighbours pointing out that they would often see her out and about.
Where are police searching?
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Kent Police has cordoned off a large area of woodland between Aylesham and Snowdown, two settlements which lie a few miles south of Canterbury.
The body was found in Akholt Woods on Tuesday (April 27) with a tent, thought to have been erected by police, clearly visible.
Forensic teams and search teams have been combing through land around Akholt Woods as they look for answers.
The police cordon has seen Aylesham Road blocked off from top to bottom all day.
What’s the latest on the police investigation?
Kent Police opened a murder investigation in to the death of Julia at 3pm on Wednesday (April 28).
The force had previously confirmed that her death was being treated as ‘suspicious’ with locals told to remain vigilant.
Currently, no arrests have been made by Kent Police.
However, detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are conducting enquiries to establish the circumstances and her death.
What are local residents saying?
The quiet neighbourhood in Snowdown has been lefbt shocked by developments over the last 24 hours.
Leah Southwell, 18, said: "The whole road was swarmed with police. Last night about 10 o'clock, I looked out my window and there were sirens.
"Nothing ever happens around here. It's just shocking to be honest. blue lights all down my road.”
Another resident, Michael Bates, told KentLive: "It's a very family friendly, close-knit community, everybody tends to look out for everybody else, having children neighbours will keep a close eye on them.
"To be honest with you I haven't really processed it, obviously we've just found out today. It's a shock."
What have the police said?
Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Police Tom Richards said: "Officers are carrying out a number of lines of enquiry to establish the circumstances and people in the Snowdown area will see an increased police presence as a result.
"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.
“We’re particularly keen to speak to those who regularly visit the area who may have seen something out of place and those who drove by who have dashcam footage.
"We would advise people in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established."
You can keep up to date with all the events on our live blog.