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The daughter of murdered PCSO Julia James’ today thanked locals for their help with the ongoing investigation.

Bethan Coles commented on Facebook: ‘Thank you all for your help,’ with a love heart emoji.

It was in response to a post about officers going door to door asking residents in Aylesham, Kent to hand over CCTV footage.

Many had already submitted footage to aid the investigation as police look to identify any potential suspects.

It came as terrified families living near the path where Julia was killed have been advised to tell loved ones where they are going, and when they will be back, before leave the house.

Locals are also being warned to keep mobile phones fully charged and with them at all times while also carefully planning walking routes, as police continue to the fugitive killer. 

It comes almost a week after Julia, 53, was found dead shortly after 4pm on Tuesday with her loyal Jack Russell by her side.

She had suffered significant head injuries caused by blunt force while walking on a remote bridle path on the edge of Ackholt Woods just a few hundred yards from her home in Snowdown, Kent.

A Kent Police notice posted on Facebook today issuing safety advice said they ‘understand if people are feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety’ after the murder.

And it urges locals to ‘remain cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings when you are out and about’.

A strong police presence remained in the nearby village of Aylesham, Kent today with PCSOs patrolling the streets.

They have also set up a special blue tent in the historic Market Square for worried residents to speak to officers about their concerns.

Dover Chief Inspector Dan Carter of Kent Police reassured residents ‘some of the very best detectives in the land’ are trying to catch the killer.

And although ‘no arrest has been made; we are not ruling anything out and are open to all possibilities’.

He said in a message to locals: ‘As your district commander, I am truly shocked and saddened by the death of PCSO Julia James.

‘Julia was well liked and highly respected by her colleagues and members of the public and we are all devastated by what has happened. 

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

The 53-year-old grandmother was beaten to death while out walking on a path through woodland close to her home in

The 53-year-old grandmother was beaten to death while out walking on a path through woodland close to her home in

The 53-year-old grandmother was beaten to death while out walking on a path through woodland close to her home in

Julia James on her wedding day, with her son Patrick (left) and daughter Bethan (right)

Julia James on her wedding day, with her son Patrick (left) and daughter Bethan (right)

Julia James on her wedding day, with her son Patrick (left) and daughter Bethan (right)

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday - her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday - her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday – her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

‘She will be fondly remembered and missed by all – my thoughts go out to Julia’s family and friends and to each and every one of you within the community at this difficult time.

‘One of the biggest policing teams I have known, including some of the very best detectives in the land, are working tirelessly, leaving no stone unturned, to bring the offender to justice.

‘Working with our partners, the safety of our communities remains our priority and we urge anyone who has concerns to speak with our officers who are out and about in the local community, or contact us.’

An appeal for information says it is ‘vitally important’ anyone who was in the area on Monday or Tuesday and saw something suspicious, regular walkers of the route who noticed something out of place or drivers who passed with dashcam footage come forward.

A ‘significant uniformed presence’ will be in the area and surrounding villages throughout the week.

It came after it emerged yesterday local police were aware of a potential dog napping incident which took place weeks before Ms James’s death – with some now suggesting the killing could have been a ‘dog napping gone wrong’.

The warning, published in a parish magazine, urges dog walkers not to go out alone and even to carry an alarm or walking stick.

Police say the warning was sparked by a report of a suspicious man in a BMW approaching two dog walkers back in March.

The man, thought to be in his 60s, is said to have offered to ‘exchange’ the pair’s dog for cigarettes.

The warning reads: ‘Dog owners are warned to be vigilant when your dog is outside the house. Your dog cannot be safely left unsupervised even in your own garden!

‘On Tuesday, March 16, two dog-walkers were approached – in broad daylight – by a man in his 60s, from a black BMW in the lanes between Nonington and Aylesham, asking to exchange their pet dog for cigarettes and did they want to get rid of the dog anyway!

‘The advice is not to be alone, if possible. Extra precautions should be taken such as walking with a stick, keeping your dog close and on a lead, carrying an alarm and having your mobile phone fully charged.

‘Please can you report any such approaches to police, taking careful not of any car number plates and other identifying details.’

Police officers conduct a search in a field not far from Ackholt Wood on Sunday

Police officers conduct a search in a field not far from Ackholt Wood on Sunday

Police officers conduct a search in a field not far from Ackholt Wood on Sunday 

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday 

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Murdered PCSO Julia James’ family including daughter and grandson visit floral tributes 

Murdered PCSO Julia James’ family have visited floral tributes as police investigate whether her killing could have had a sexual motive – or if the attack was revenge for her work in stopping domestic violence.

Julia’s colleagues yesterday pledged to leave ‘no stone unturned’ in their hunt for the killer as Kent Police continued to comb woodland.

Meanwhile, Julia’s daughter Bethan Coles, son in law Chase Coles and her young grandson Jaxxon visited a commemorative mining wheel memorial which has been covered in floral tributes from locals in Aylesham, Kent.

The group were seen kneeling down, inspecting the flowers and reading the dozens of heartfelt tributes this afternoon.

The Union Flag in the historic Market Square in Aylesham has been lowered to half mast in her honour.

It comes as police confirmed revelations that a flasher had made an indecent exposure weeks before she died from ‘blunt force injuries’ was ‘an important line of enquiry’. 

Aylesham Parish Council chair Mark Townsend brought the flag down at around 2.30pm yesterday.

He said on the village green: ‘This is a fitting tribute to someone who has been an enormously valued member of our community.

We’ve never had anything like this happen here. It’s hit this community extremely hard. There’s no quick fix to this.

‘Hopefully the police will get the perpetrator.’

A blue tent has been erected in the village green as a hub for concerned residents to speak to the police. 

Julia’s cousin Sam Griffin simply said ‘our family is heartbroken,’ in an Instagram tribute.

She wrote: ‘My beautiful cousin was brutally taken from us on Tuesday.

‘If anyone has any information, no matter how small…please report it to Kent Police.’ 

Meanwhile, Julia’s uncle Michael Turnbull pleaded for the public’s help to ‘find this monster before he can cause more grief to another family’.

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Ms James was walking her Jack Russell at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports.

Yesterday a source told the Sun that Ms James’s death could have been a dog napping gone ‘horribly wrong’.

The source said: ‘It’s possible the murderer was targeting her dog but it went horribly wrong. 

‘The killer is not going to want to take a chipped dog knowing he’s just committed a murder.

‘He may have panicked and fled, leaving the dog.’

A Kent Police spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are keeping an open mind in regards to all possible lines of enquiry.’ 

It comes after the Mail revealed how a female dog walker was confronted by a prowler in a van one mile away from where Ms James was killed.

The woman is said to have been accosted by a man in a white transit vehicle as she walked along a quiet path in the village of Nonnington, Kent, two weeks ago. 

The dog walker was allegedly pestered by a man in Nonington as she walked her dog. She managed to distract him before fleeing and shouting out for help.

It is also understood PCSOs patrolling the village near Canterbury have warned women out walking their dogs to ‘veer from their normal route’ and avoid the woodland areas after their colleague’s death.

Meanwhile villagers have claimed that there had been a spate of dognapping incidents in the area prior to Ms James’s death. 

Residents living between Nonington and Aylesham reported hearing of incidents in which dog walkers were attacked as they walked their pets in the surrounding countryside.

Bob Hales, 74, a retired HGV driver, who lives between Aylsham and Nonington said there had been a wave of attempted dognappings in surrounding villages in recent months.

He said: ‘We did have a little spate of attempted dognappings around here, mainly in Wingham.

‘It was in the last few weeks. Apparently there was a van going around with RSPCA on the side, but it wasn’t really the RSPCA.

‘I know about it because my wife is in the Wingham WI [Women’s Institute].

‘It’s quite concerning. Our dog died a few years so thankfully we don’t have to worry about it so much.’

Villagers have continued to pay tributes to Ms James. Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir expressed its ‘deepest sympathies’ with the family, friends and colleagues of Julia.

In a Facebook post on behalf of all members of the choral group, it said: ‘We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Julia James after the tragic incident that occurred on Tuesday.

‘Our thoughts go out to everyone in the community who has been affected by these events.’

A team of police officers continue to search bushes close to the scene on Sunday

A team of police officers continue to search bushes close to the scene on Sunday

A team of police officers continue to search bushes close to the scene on Sunday

A police tent can be seen near Ackholt Woodon Sunday as officers search for evidence in the death of PCSO James

A police tent can be seen near Ackholt Woodon Sunday as officers search for evidence in the death of PCSO James

A police tent can be seen near Ackholt Woodon Sunday as officers search for evidence in the death of PCSO James

Police officer form a line as they search through a field for information near Ackholt Wood on Sunday

Police officer form a line as they search through a field for information near Ackholt Wood on Sunday

Police officer form a line as they search through a field for information near Ackholt Wood on Sunday

Local residents continued to add bouquets to the pile of floral tributes placed on a village green mining memorial in the centre of Aylesham.

The card fastened to one bouquet vowed to deliver justice for Julia.

It read: ‘PCSO Julia James your police family will get you justice. Thank you for your service. Sleep Tight. X’

Two officers remained under a blue gazebo erected on the village green for members of the public to share concerns with police early on Sunday afternoon.

Another officer in black uniform led a German Shepherd police dog on circles of the village green.

Away from the centre of the village, four Kent Police vans, a police SUV, a police car and more than 10 unmarked police vehicles could be seen in the carpark of the Aylesham Community Project Building, which appears to be being used as a temporary police base.

Away from the centre of the village, four Kent Police vans, a police SUV, a police car and more than 10 unmarked police vehicles could be seen in the carpark of the Aylesham Community Project Building, which appears to be being used as a temporary police base. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday

Away from the centre of the village, four Kent Police vans, a police SUV, a police car and more than 10 unmarked police vehicles could be seen in the carpark of the Aylesham Community Project Building, which appears to be being used as a temporary police base. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday

Away from the centre of the village, four Kent Police vans, a police SUV, a police car and more than 10 unmarked police vehicles could be seen in the carpark of the Aylesham Community Project Building, which appears to be being used as a temporary police base. Pictured: Police at the scene on Saturday

Six officers split up in pairs and wearing fluorescent jackets were trekking through farmers' fields behind Akholt Woods, between Snowdown and Aylesham. Pictured: Police at the scene on Sunday

Six officers split up in pairs and wearing fluorescent jackets were trekking through farmers' fields behind Akholt Woods, between Snowdown and Aylesham. Pictured: Police at the scene on Sunday

Six officers split up in pairs and wearing fluorescent jackets were trekking through farmers’ fields behind Akholt Woods, between Snowdown and Aylesham. Pictured: Police at the scene on Sunday

Spate of attempted dognappings took place in weeks before Julia James’s death, villagers claim

A spate of attempted dognappings took place in the weeks before PCSO Julia James was bludgeoned to death, according to villagers living nearby.

Residents living between Nonington and Aylesham reported hearing of incidents in which dog walkers were attacked as they walked their pets in the surrounding countryside.

Bob Hales, 74, a retired HGV driver, who lives between Aylsham and Nonnington said there had been a wave of attempted dognappings in surrounding villages in recent months.

He said: ‘We did have a little spate of attempted dognappings around here, mainly in Wingham.

‘It was in the last few weeks. Apparently there was a van going around with RSPCA on the side, but it wasn’t really the RSPCA.

‘I know about it because my wife is in the Wingham WI [Women’s Institute].

‘It’s quite concerning. Our dog died a few years so thankfully we don’t have to worry about it so much.’

His neighbour, Pat Moon, 77, a retired post-worker said she had heard of several violent incidents in which people had tried to steal dogs in the fields between Aylsham and Nonnington, a couple of months prior to Julia’s murder.

She said: ‘I’ve heard that people have been trying to take dogs and people have been beaten up.

‘It was about two months ago I heard this. It’s quite scary.

‘We tend to avoid that area and just walk our dogs around the back. The dogs are old too now.

‘Thankfully, we’ve had no problems ourselves.’

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Six officers split up in pairs and wearing fluorescent jackets were trekking through farmers’ fields behind Akholt Woods, between Snowdown and Aylesham.

A police SUV remains parked up by the side of the woods, visible from Pond Lane in Aylesham.

A heavy police presence is still in place on Aylesham Road, with seven police cars and three vans parked up on the road near the woods. The lane remains blocked off by a police cordon.

Meanwhile the National Crime Agency (NCA) have today joined the investigation, it has been revealed.

The NCA primarily focuses on organised crime, human, weapon and drug trafficking, cyber crime and economic crime that goes across regional and international borders.

However they can be brought into any investigation where it is needed. The NCA’s extensive experience in cyber crime is one of its key assets to local police forces.

A National Crime Agency spokesperson said: ‘The NCA’s Major Crime Investigative Support unit is providing specialist support and advice to the ongoing Kent Police investigation.’

The spokesperson did not give specific details into why the NCA had been called into help the investigation. 

Yesterday, an uncle of Ms James urged the public to help the hunt for her killer, saying: ‘Let’s find this monster before he can cause more grief to another family.’ 

Dozens of officers have combed the woods and surrounding fields since Tuesday afternoon when her body was found but they have yet to find a murder weapon or a significant clue to her attacker’s identity.

Heartbroken uncle Michael Turnbull, from Canterbury, appealed on social media for the public’s help to catch the killer. 

‘Julia has been taken from us by some worthless, cowardly excuse for a human being for no other reason than his own sense of self-gratification to justify what he did, leaving behind a family full of broken hearts and sadness,’ he said.

He told how she was a mother to two children, Bethan and Patrick, and a grandmother to Jaxxon. ‘Julia was funny, kind, caring, always saw the good in people and, most of all, was full of love.

‘Please share this and let us find this monster before he can cause more grief to another family.’

His moving appeal came as the police community support officer’s daughter Bethan Coles, son-in-law Chase and grandson Jaxxon paid a visit to a makeshift memorial to read the heartfelt messages left with dozens of floral tributes.

Heartbroken uncle Michael Turnbull (pictured), from Canterbury, appealed on social media for the public's help to catch the killer

Heartbroken uncle Michael Turnbull (pictured), from Canterbury, appealed on social media for the public's help to catch the killer

PCSO Julia James was killed while out walking her Jack Russell in Ackholt Wood in Snowdown, in Kent

PCSO Julia James was killed while out walking her Jack Russell in Ackholt Wood in Snowdown, in Kent

Heartbroken uncle Michael Turnbull (pictured left), from Canterbury, appealed on social media for the public’s help to catch the killer. PCSO Julia James (pictured right) was killed while out walking her Jack Russell in Ackholt Wood in Snowdown, in Kent

Mrs James had been working from home when she took her dog Toby for an afternoon walk. 

She was seen leaving at around 3pm before her body was found an hour later on a country path with her loyal Jack Russell waiting by her side. 

Kent Police investigators described a potential sexual motive for the murder as ‘an important line of inquiry’. 

They declined to disclose whether her body was found fully clothed.

Detectives have also not ruled out a link to Mrs James’s work as a PCSO with the Kent force, most recently as a member of its domestic violence unit. National Crime Agency officers are also helping the investigation.

Floral tributes have been left near the scene were PCSO James was murdered. Police are still searching the area looking for the murder weapon or evidence linking the killer to the crime

Two women lay flowers in a park in Aylesham village yesterday close to the scene where PCSO Julia James was found

Two women lay flowers in a park in Aylesham village yesterday close to the scene where PCSO Julia James was found

Two women lay flowers in a park in Aylesham village yesterday close to the scene where PCSO Julia James was found

Two PCSOs patrol the area near to the flowers left for PCSO Julia James at a park in Aylesham village in Kent

Two PCSOs patrol the area near to the flowers left for PCSO Julia James at a park in Aylesham village in Kent

Two PCSOs patrol the area near to the flowers left for PCSO Julia James at a park in Aylesham village in Kent

Local residents have voiced their fears over the killer still being at large. One female dog walker reported a man in a van exposing himself to her two weeks ago, a mile from the scene of the murder.

The killing occurred just two miles from where Lin Russell, 45, and daughter Megan, six, were bludgeoned to death in 1996. Nine-year-old daughter Josie was left close to death but recovered.

Mrs James’s husband Paul, 57, a hypnotherapist she married four years ago, has so far been too upset to speak of his loss. Her son Patrick Davis, 23, has said he is devastated by his mother’s death.

Police colleagues have also been paying tribute to the PCSO, who served for 15 years, by leaving flowers by the village of Aylesham’s mining memorial not far from her home.

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