The former partner of a PCSO who was found dead in woodland has paid tribute to the “love of my life” – and said he doesn’t know if her killing was random.
A murder probe has been opened after tragic Julia James’ body was discovered in the village of Snowdown, Kent, yesterday afternoon.
Mum-of-two Julia, 53, is believed to have been walking her dog near her home when the tragedy unfolded.
A neighbour has told of a “chilling” final sighting of her walking towards the dogs before he later heard of her death.
No arrests have been made, and Kent Police have not confirmed how she died.
Julia’s ex Wayne Davis, 62, said he’d found out about the tragedy from son Patrick, 23, who he shared with Julia.
Mr Davis told The Sun he had asked Patrick if he knew what was happening in Snowdown, and said he had heard a woman had lost her life.
“Then a bit later, the phone rang and he said, ‘Dad, it’s Mum’. He was crying and crying,” he recounted.
Mr Davis described Julia as “the love of my life”, saying she was a “lovely woman”.
He said being a PCSO was “a way of life” for her, and added: “For something like that to happen, in the middle of nowhere – you don’t know whether it’s just random.”
He said the location of her death was “odd”, and added that police appeared to know more than they were saying.
Neighbour Sean Simmonds told the newspaper he believes he is the last person to have seen Julia alive.
He said he had seen her walking toward the woods with her dog, but she did not return.
A short time later began cordoning off the area, he said.
The 57-year-old paramedic added: “I might have been the last person to see her alive. It’s chilling.”
Officers were called shortly after 4pm on Tuesday to Akholt Wood in the Aylesham Road area of Snowdown where Mrs James’ body was found.
Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “So saddened to hear of the death of Kent Police. PCSO Julia James. I offer my sincere condolences to Julia’s friends, family and colleagues at this awful time.”
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 while there is a full and thorough investigation under way 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 people in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established.”