PCSO Julia James’s dog takes part in police reconstruction

·3 min read

PCSO Julia James’s dog has been taken back to the area where his owner was found dead, as part of a police reconstruction.

Jack Russell Toby was walked by an actress along the route the community support officer took on the day of her killing, in a bid to jog the memories of any remaining witnesses.

The pet was discovered unharmed near to where Ms James’s body was found after taking him out for their daily stroll near her home in Snowdown, Kent, on April 27.

In recent days dozens of police from all over the country have been painstakingly combing through fields and bushes for clues while large areas in the countryside village remain cordoned off.

Ms James’s daughter, Bethan Coles, has praised the officers investigating her mother’s killing, saying they have been working “tirelessly”.

Julia James murder: police reconstruction
(PA Graphics)

Police believe there are people who were in the area on the day of the killing who they want to speak to.

The reconstruction on Tuesday afternoon came as a 21-year-old man appeared in court charged with Ms James’s murder.

Speaking in Aylesham, Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said it has been a “hugely challenging” fortnight and that no further arrests are currently anticipated in relation to Ms James’s death.

He told reporters: “As many of you will be aware, yesterday, shortly after 10pm, detectives charged a gentleman, Callum Wheeler, a 21-year-old man who lives in Aylesham, with the murder of Julia.

Julia James death
Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards said no further arrests are anticipated in the inquiry (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“Today, on the two-week anniversary of Julia’s death we will be conducting, with an actress and Julia’s Jack Russell dog Toby, a reconstruction.

“Once again I appeal to anybody who is seeing this footage today who remembers anything at all that could be of assistance to the investigation to help us piece together those last vital pieces.”

An actress wearing identical clothes to those Ms James was wearing when she was last seen – a light blue waterproof coat, blue jeans and dark boots – set off from the hamlet of Snowdown with Toby on a lead.

She headed through a wooded area that opened out on to a wide field – the same route Ms James is believed to have taken in the moments before her killing.

From there she headed down the edge of the farmland, with Aylesham Road running along to her right.

Julia James death
An actress playing the role of Julia James walks the PCSO’s Jack Russell dog Toby (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Toby, who has since been looked after by Ms James’s family since her death, padded down the well-trodden path in the sunshine.

After rounding the field, the pair headed away from the road and towards an area of woodland that is now cordoned off with police tape.

Mr Richards said: “That is her typical daily walk with Toby, around the perimeter of that field.

“And, finally, you will see her concluding her walk around the field and entering the woodland where sadly she was found shortly after four o’clock, two weeks ago today.”

Posting on Facebook on Monday evening, Ms Coles praised officers involved with the case.

She said: “Everyone has been working tirelessly.

“There are no words to express how grateful I am.”

A doorstep clap to thank Kent Police for their work on the investigation is to take place in Aylesham at 7pm on Tuesday evening.

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