The woman found dead in a sleepy village in Kent was a Police Community Support Officer.
Locals reacted with shock and sadness after the body of a woman in her 50s was found on Thursday.
Kent Police are treating her death as suspicious and have urged people in the area to “remain vigilant”.
Officers were called to Snowdown near Aylesham, Kent at around 4pm on Tuesday.
Pictures from the scene show a large police presence, with a tent set up next to floodlights in a sealed-off field.
The road was shut as officers arrived and remains closed on Wednesday while the probe continues.
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Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Police Tom Richards said: “Officers are carrying out a number of lines of inquiry to establish the circumstances and people in the Snowdown area will see an increased police presence as a result.
“It saddens me to confirm that the victim was a serving PCSO for Kent Police and whilst there is a full and thorough investigation underway 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.
“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 anyone in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established.”
Charles Woodgate, a councillor representing Aylesham, Eythorne and Shepherdswell, described the incident as a “tragedy”.
Linda Keen, councillor for Aylesham, Eythorne and Shepherdswell, said: “It’s absolutely dreadful news and a tragedy for the woman, her family and the local community who must be in shock.
“This sort of incident is very atypical for Aylesham and doesn’t really happen here.
“I’m sure the police will do absolutely everything they can to establish what has happened.”
Fellow Dover District Councillor for the ward Peter Walker said: “Police have a large cordon in place and continue to search after the woman’s body was found. It seems very serious.
“It is a tragedy for the locals and will shock this usually peaceful community without a shadow of a doubt. This kind of thing doesn’t happen here.”
A fire crew also attended the scene some two hours after the discovery to assist police, according to a Kent Fire and Service spokesman who would not say why their attendance was required.
Kent Fire and Rescue added: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called at 18.22 to assist Kent Police in Aylesham Road, in Snowdown, Dover.
“One fire engine attended.”
More to follow.