A man in his 20s has been arrested in connection with the murder of Kent PCSO and married mum-of-two Julia James.

Ms James, a popular community support officer, was found dead in Akholt Wood near her home in Snowdown, Kent, shortly after 4pm on on April 27.

She had gone out for a walk with her Jack Russell, Toby, and the loyal dog stayed by her body after she was killed.

A post-mortem examination revealed the 53-year-old died from significant head injuries.

Kent Police have said a man in his 20s from the Canterbury area was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday May 7.

The force confirmed the man is a British national.

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Julia James
Ms James, 53, was a mum-of-two and had been a PCSO for about 15 years

The arrest came a day after detectives released a photo of a man they wanted to speak to, saying he could be of “crucial importance” to the investigation.

The force said on Friday night the man had been identified.

Police did not say whether the man in the photo was the same person who was arrested.

A spokesperson for Kent Police said: "Officers investigating the death of Julia James have arrested a man in connection with her murder.

Julia James walks her dog Toby
Ms James was wearing this outfit when she was last seen on April 27
A police officer stands near a forensic tent on the outskirts of Akholt Wood in Snowdown, where the body of PCSO Julia James was found
A police officer stands near a forensic tent on the outskirts of Akholt Wood on April 29

"A man in his 20s from the Canterbury area was arrested at 9.30pm on Friday 7 May 2021, and remains in custody.

"Julia, 53, who was a serving Police Community Support Officer for Kent Police, was found deceased next to Akholt Wood in Snowdown at around 4pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021.

"She had been working from home that day before taking her dog, Toby, for a walk in the Aylesham Road area.

"A post-mortem revealed Julia died from significant head injuries."

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Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards from Kent Police said: ‘We continue to urge anyone with information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to contact us.

"If you were in the Snowdown area between 1pm and 4.30pm on Tuesday 27 April please contact us.

"This includes anyone local who may have seen something out of place at the time, or who came across someone who made them feel uneasy - such as feeling compelled to cross the road or change the route they were walking."