Home Kent News The community facing an ‘unsettling’ reality after mystery death of Julia James

The community facing an ‘unsettling’ reality after mystery death of Julia James

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Original article from Kent Live

Last Tuesday (April 27), PCSO Julia James was found dead in a patch of woodland near to her home in Snowdown.

Her shocking killing has reverberated throughout Kent and across the country, while friends, family, and neighbours are still having to come to terms with this tragic loss.

While police continue their murder investigation, currently without a suspect, local residents of this small village near Dover have been learning to deal with the fallout.

For many, the uncertainty over what happened and who was responsible have only made it more difficult to process.

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Gina Lipman, 63, came to the area four-and-a-half years ago, where she now lives alone with her two cats.

She said: "Its made me nervous and whereas I used to leave my backdoor unlocked during the day.

"Now, even when I let the cats out, I lock the door up straight away.

"I've been locking my door, I've been putting my alarm on every night now. I didn't always.

"I always felt really safe here, and I still do feel safe, that's not the problem, because obviously it's not like it's a usual occurrence.

"Obviously it is unsettling, you can't get away from that really."

'It was just surreal'

The 63-year-old continued: "I've had my sister and my daughter saying, 'make sure you lock the door' all the time."

Several police cars were parked along a road in Aylesham after a woman was found dead on Tuesday (April 28)

"I was just shocked, it was just really surreal," she added.

"I like to watch CSI, New York CSI, Miami. I don't like watching the real thing, I have to say.

"So when the real thing was happening here, it was like 'oh my gosh'.

Julia James was a 53 -year-old Police Community Support Officer when she was found dead in Aylesham on April 28

"I didn't know Julia personally, but when I saw her picture come up on the evening news, I thought 'oh, I do know her'.

"I had seen her around at like the Co-op and things like that, and I probably would have seen her walking up and down with the dog at some point."

'In such a small community it hits home a lot harder'

A tent has been set up in a field near Aylesham Road, nearby the location where the PCSO was found dead

The village remains dotted with police and squad cars but still retains an air of eerie quiet.

"My friends who have got dogs aren't walking their dogs as much," she added.

"They're not going far afield.

"They're sticking to the pavements really and the areas where the houses are.

"It's just so sad, so so sad.

"I used to live in Croydon and there it was literally almost every other day, there was a stabbing incident or a killing incident.

"So you kind of got immune to it, you didn't really think about it, but when you're in such a small community it hits home a lot harder."

'It could have been my wife'

One resident, who wished to remain ano to remain anonymous, said they've been unable to walk their dog, with police cordoning off local paths leading to the fields currently being searched.

Police have taped off certain areas in the village as part of the ongoing investigation

"I can't walk my dog, they've put barrier tape here," they said.

"I'm not afraid."

"Now the thing is my wife, on Saturday, Sunday, did that route with our dogs, that she does often.

"It could have been her, he could have been lying in wait for an opportunity.

"And similar appearance, blonde, female, it could have been."

'It unnerves you'

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We were out in Sandwich and then we came home and didn't notice anything going on.

"It wasn't until about midnight and we saw the lights flashing.

"We thought it'd been a road accident and then of course the news was that there had been a body found.

"It unnerves you there's no doubt about it.

"So many people are going out at the moment with couples and pairs, making sure that everyone's safe, until the person's caught."

Original Article