Date: 22 Jul 1998
Julia Webb was beaten to death with a blunt instrument while walking her dog near her home in Sandiway on 22 July 1998.
A 43-year-old man from Somerset was later arrested for her murder in 2004 but released without charge.
Julia Webb had been walking her golden Labrador Rosie at the time. After her murder, Rosie the dog had sat in the lane and later when her son went out looking for her and found Rosie sat in the lane, Rosie then led him to where Julia Webb was found dead in the woodland. She was found yards away from her home in Weaverham Road in some woodland at about 5.30pm after having gone out for her walk at about 3pm which she did everyday. Her son had gone out to look for her after he had got home to find his grandfather at the home in a worried state because Julia Webb had not got back from her walk.
She had been beaten about the head and strangled
The murder weapon was never found and there was no known motive.
The police operation to solve her murder was called Operation Nato.
Julia Webb had two sons and was not thought to have had any enemies.
A Crimewatch UK television reconstruction was later made in September 1998 in which the police said that they were looking to trace three men that had been seen in the area at the time. They were:
The police said that they thought her murderer had had a local connection.
Her death was also later connected to the murder of Kate Bushell who was also murdered whilst out walking her dog near Exeter, although the police later said that they ruled out the connection. The police said 'We have liaised with the police in Cheshire, and the officers in other forces where crimes have been committed which may have similarities to the murder of Kate Bushell. We have no evidence to link Kate's murder with the killing of Julia Webb, and there is nothing to suggest we are looking for the same offender.'.