Published: 16:58, 30 April 2021
| Updated: 17:17, 30 April 2021
The family of murdered PCSO Julia James say no words can describe the void her tragic death has left in their lives.
Speaking publicly for the first time since she was killed, they described the 53-year-old mum-of-two as "fiercely loyal" and someone who "loved with her whole heart".
She had suffered serious head injuries caused by blunt force trauma, but no motive has been established, nor any suspects identified.
Her family said: "There are no words to adequately describe the void left in our lives by the death of our mum.
"She was so much to so many people; a wife, mother, daughter, nanny, sister and a friend.
"Mum was fiercely loyal, she loved with her whole heart and nothing was too much trouble for the people she cared about.
"She had a beautiful smile and was always quick to laugh, she was so naturally funny with a brilliant sense of humour.
"It’s difficult to describe a person in a few sentences, to describe who they truly were is impossible, but the people who knew her will know how kind she was and how she would bring so much fun and life to a room.
"Her loss will be felt by us every moment of every day. She will be so sorely missed. As a family we are trying to understand how we will navigate our lives without her, it seems an impossible task.
"We would like to thank everybody who has messaged and left flowers, the outpouring of love and support from friends, the local community and our policing family has been enormous.
"After meeting with the police we have every confidence that they are doing everything within their power to find the person responsible and I urge everybody who may have any information, however small or insignificant to contact the police. You could be helping us get justice for Julia."
Mrs James left her house on Tuesday to take her dog for a walk, but was tragically found dead on the edge of Ackholt Wood
Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards revealed at a press conference this morning that police are leaving open the possibility Mrs James was attacked by a complete stranger.
None of her possessions had been taken and her Jack Russell was by her side, unharmed.
No motive for the attack has been established and no suspects have been identified.
Adding to the tributes, ACC Richards said: "Julia was a dedicated PCSO who devoted years to serving the people of Kent.
"She was well liked by colleagues and members of the public showing commitment and passion for her job and we are all devastated by what has happened.
"She will be fondly remembered and missed by all who knew her.
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies also remain with her family, friends and colleagues."
Mrs James joined Kent Police in 2008 as a crime reduction PCSO in east Kent and throughout her career served the local community. Most recently Julia supported victims of domestic abuse in the Vulnerability Investigation Team, based at Canterbury police station.
As enquiries into her death continue, it is expected a large police presence will remain at the scene and in the surrounding areas until at least the beginning of next week.
ACC Richards added: "We understand that people may be feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety following Julia’s death.
"We advise people in the area to remain vigilant until the full circumstances of the death are established.
"The safety of our communities remains our priority and we urge anyone who has concerns to speak to our officers who are out and about in the local community or contact us."
Anyone with information should call police on 0800 0514 526.
Video footage can be submitted online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4601020121F07-PO1.