'Light a candle for Julia': Daughter of murdered PCSO, 53, asks well-wishers to ...

The daughter of murdered PCSO Julia James' has urged supporters to light a candle on their doorsteps to remember her a week after she was killed.

Well-wishers were planning a vigil in the village close to where Julia, 53, was found dead with significant head injuries last Tuesday with her Jack Russell terrier unharmed by her side.

But now Julia's daughter Bethan Coles has urged friends and villagers to light a candle instead so that police resources are not diverted away from the investigation.

They have started a social media campaign to help keep awareness of the murder investigation in the public eye called #justiceforjulia.

Posting on Facebook she said: 'I'm so grateful for people sharing posts for #justiceforjulia

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'A number of people have asked about holding a vigil for Mum, and whilst I am so grateful for people wanting to remember her, I am very conscious that any gathering would need to be policed (if it was even allowed), I've discussed this with my family and we are in agreement that we would prefer all police resources to be concentrating on the investigation as there is so much work to be done.

'I've been thinking perhaps we could ask those who wish to remember Mum to light a candle for her and leave it on their doorstep. This would be a beautiful nod to Mum in a way that doesn't intrude on the Police investigation.

'It marks a week since we lost Mum. At 7pm I will light a candle for her. #justiceforjulia'

Police search teams are continuing to scour areas of woodland and fields close to he spot on a footpath on the edge of Ackholt Wood near Aylesham, Kent as the investigation continues.

It came as terrified families living near the path where Julia was killed have been advised to tell loved ones where they are going, and when they will be back, before leave the house.

Locals are also being warned to keep mobile phones fully charged and with them at all times while also carefully planning walking routes, as police continue to the fugitive killer.  

PCSO Julia James in Aylesham, Kent, whose body was discovered at Akholt Wood on Tuesday close to Snowdown

PCSO Julia James in Aylesham, Kent, whose body was discovered at Akholt Wood on Tuesday close to Snowdown

Julia James with her son, Patrick Davis, from June 2017, with her daughter on the other side, Bethan Coles

Julia James with her son, Patrick Davis, from June 2017, with her daughter on the other side, Bethan Coles

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Kent Police search officers continue their search of fields near the scene where PCSO Julia James was killed at Akholt Wood

Kent Police search officers continue their search of fields near the scene where PCSO Julia James was killed at Akholt Wood

Julia's daughter Bethan Coles urged people to share the message to light a candle in memory of her mother tonight

Julia's daughter Bethan Coles urged people to share the message to light a candle in memory of her mother tonight

A Kent Police notice posted on Facebook issued safety advice said they 'understand if people are feeling uncertain at the moment about their safety' after the murder.

And it urges locals to 'remain cautious, vigilant and aware of your surroundings when you are out and about'.

A strong police presence remained in the nearby village of Aylesham, Kent today with PCSOs patrolling the streets.

They have also set up a special blue tent in the historic Market Square for worried residents to speak to officers about their concerns.

Dover Chief Inspector Dan Carter of Kent Police reassured residents 'some of the very best detectives in the land' are trying to catch the killer.

And although 'no arrest has been made; we are not ruling anything out and are open to all possibilities'.

He said in a message to locals: 'As your district commander, I am truly shocked and saddened by the death of PCSO Julia James.

'Julia was well liked and highly respected by her colleagues and members of the public and we are all devastated by what has happened. 

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

Julia James was walking her Jack Russell (pictured: Ms James and her dog) at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports

This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

This worrying update from the police told people to let others know where they were going before leaving their homes

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday - her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

Julia had finished her shift and headed out from home with her Jack Russell at around 3pm on Tuesday - her body, with her loyal dog sat next to it, was found at 4pm

'She will be fondly remembered and missed by all - my thoughts go out to Julia's family and friends and to each and every one of you within the community at this difficult time.

'One of the biggest policing teams I have known, including some of the very best detectives in the land, are working tirelessly, leaving no stone unturned, to bring the offender to justice.

'Working with our partners, the safety of our communities remains our priority and we urge anyone who has concerns to speak with our officers who are out and about in the local community, or contact us.'

An appeal for information says it is 'vitally important' anyone who was in the area on Monday or Tuesday and saw something suspicious, regular walkers of the route who noticed something out of place or drivers who passed with dashcam footage come forward.

A 'significant uniformed presence' will be in the area and surrounding villages throughout the week.

It came after it emerged on Sunday local police were aware of a potential dog napping incident which took place weeks before Ms James's death - with some now suggesting the killing could have been a 'dog napping gone wrong'.

The warning, published in a parish magazine, urges dog walkers not to go out alone and even to carry an alarm or walking stick.

Police say the warning was sparked by a report of a suspicious man in a BMW approaching two dog walkers back in March.

The man, thought to be in his 60s, is said to have offered to 'exchange' the pair's dog for cigarettes.

The warning reads: 'Dog owners are warned to be vigilant when your dog is outside the house. Your dog cannot be safely left unsupervised even in your own garden!

'On Tuesday, March 16, two dog-walkers were approached - in broad daylight - by a man in his 60s, from a black BMW in the lanes between Nonington and Aylesham, asking to exchange their pet dog for cigarettes and did they want to get rid of the dog anyway!

'The advice is not to be alone, if possible. Extra precautions should be taken such as walking with a stick, keeping your dog close and on a lead, carrying an alarm and having your mobile phone fully charged.

'Please can you report any such approaches to police, taking careful not of any car number plates and other identifying details.'

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Police officers walk near Ackholt Wood on Sunday as they search for information surrounding the death

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday as the hunt for her killer continued

Scores of police officers conduct a search in a field next to Ackhold Wood on Sunday as the hunt for her killer continued

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Police officers search bushes with poles close to the Ackhold Wood on Sunday

Murdered PCSO Julia James' family including daughter and grandson visit floral tributes 

Murdered PCSO Julia James' family have visited floral tributes as police investigate whether her killing could have had a sexual motive - or if the attack was revenge for her work in stopping domestic violence.

Julia's colleagues yesterday pledged to leave 'no stone unturned' in their hunt for the killer as Kent Police continued to comb woodland.

Meanwhile, Julia's daughter Bethan Coles, son in law Chase Coles and her young grandson Jaxxon visited a commemorative mining wheel memorial which has been covered in floral tributes from locals in Aylesham, Kent.

The group were seen kneeling down, inspecting the flowers and reading the dozens of heartfelt tributes this afternoon.

The Union Flag in the historic Market Square in Aylesham has been lowered to half mast in her honour.

It comes as police confirmed revelations that a flasher had made an indecent exposure weeks before she died from 'blunt force injuries' was 'an important line of enquiry'. 

Aylesham Parish Council chair Mark Townsend brought the flag down at around 2.30pm yesterday.

He said on the village green: 'This is a fitting tribute to someone who has been an enormously valued member of our community.

We've never had anything like this happen here. It's hit this community extremely hard. There's no quick fix to this.

'Hopefully the police will get the perpetrator.'

A blue tent has been erected in the village green as a hub for concerned residents to speak to the police. 

Julia's cousin Sam Griffin simply said 'our family is heartbroken,' in an Instagram tribute.

She wrote: 'My beautiful cousin was brutally taken from us on Tuesday.

'If anyone has any information, no matter how small...please report it to Kent Police.' 

Meanwhile, Julia's uncle Michael Turnbull pleaded for the public's help to 'find this monster before he can cause more grief to another family'.

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Ms James was walking her Jack Russell at the time of her death. The dog remained at the scene with her body, according to reports.

A source told the Sun that Ms James's death could have been a dog napping gone 'horribly wrong'.

The source said: 'It's possible the murderer was targeting her dog but it went horribly wrong. 

'The killer is not going to want to take a chipped dog knowing he's just committed a murder.

'He may have panicked and fled, leaving the dog.'

A Kent Police spokesperson told MailOnline: 'We are keeping an open mind in regards to all possible lines of enquiry.' 

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