Police forensic officers are searching a house close to a footpath where the body of a murdered PCSO was discovered last month.

Officers wearing white overalls carried bagged items as they emerged from the cordoned-off new build home in Aylesham, Kent.

Kent Police confirmed the search was part of the investigation into the death of Julia James, who was found bludgeoned about a mile away just after 4pm on April 27.

It comes after a man in his 20s, who is from the Canterbury area, was arrested in connection with the murder.

Ms James, a 53-year-old married mum-of-two, was out for a walk with her Jack Russell, Toby, when she was killed, and the loyal dog stayed by her body.

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Forensic officers at an address in Aylesham, Kent following the arrest of man in his 20s in connection with the murder of PCSO Julia James
A police officer carries an item in a bag during a search in Aylesham, Kent

The popular community support officer, who was off duty and not in uniform, was found dead in Akholt Wood near her home in Snowdown.

A post-mortem examination revealed the mum, described as “fiercely loyal” by her family, died from significant head injuries.

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.

PCSO Julia James smiles for a photo
Julia James, 53, was a married mum-of-two and a PCSO with Kent Police

Police said Saturday's search at a property in Aylesham is linked to enquiries being made in relation to the murder.

The arrest came 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 and they were no longer appealing for information about him.

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

Forensic officers at an address in Aylesham, Kent following the arrest of man in his 20s in connection with the murder of PCSO Julia James
A police officer enters a home during Saturday's search in Aylesham
Forensic officers at an address in Aylesham, Kent following the arrest of man in his 20s in connection with the murder of PCSO Julia James
Police say the search is linked to enquiries being made in relation to the murder

At a briefing in Folkestone earlier on Friday, Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards told reporters that police have yet to establish a motive for Ms James’ murder.

The force said on Thursday that it was broadening the search area to include “a number of other locations” in addition to the woodland near to where she was found.

On Wednesday, police issued an image of the PCSO in the clothes she was wearing before she was killed.

The picture shows Ms James walking her Jack Russell, Toby, while wearing a light blue waterproof coat, blue jeans and dark Wellington-style brown boots.

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Police said it was the same clothing, apart from the gloves, which she wore on the day she died.

The National Crime Agency said it was supporting the police investigation into Ms James' murder, adding that it was committed to "seeking justice for Julia".

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £10,000 for anonymous information that leads to her killer being convicted.

Ms James' devastated family, including her husband Paul James and daughter Bethan Coles, who also works for the police, had urged people to get in touch with police if they had information.

Julia James walks her Jack Russell dog Toby
Ms James was wearing these clothes the day she was murdered while walking her dog
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 after Ms James' body was found

Both had shared appeals on Facebook using the #justiceforjulia hashtag.

Ms James' husband Paul broke his silence earlier this week as he wrote on Facebook "I miss you so much Luvly xxx" under a photo of the two.

A Facebook group called "Justice for Julia" was set up to share news and appeal for tips.

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

Julia James
Ms James' grieving husband Paul wrote "I miss you so much" in a Facebook comment

"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."

Mr Richards 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."