Date: 10 Jul 2001
Julie Foster was beaten to death in her home in Elsenham, Essex.
Her ex-boyfriend was tried for her murder but acquitted. He was arrested soon after the murder but released and then arrested again later and charged.
Her body was found at her home in her bedroom at 8.45pm on 10 July 2001 by her eight-year-old son when he went in to ask about breakfast. He had woken late and had realised that he was late for school. After finding her he called 999.
The son said that he had heard creaking footsteps climbing the stairs a few hours before he found her body and it was thought that he might have heard her murderer moving about in the house.
She had been beaten about the head with a blunt instrument and left lying naked in a pool of blood.
It was thought that she had been killed between midnight and 7am on 10 July 2001.
Police said that they found what they thought was the murder weapon.
She was known to drink in the Crooked House Pub and to have friends in Australia.
At the time of her murder the police said that they were looking for a physiotherapist that knew her that had lived in Wolverhampton.
Julie Foster ran a pet shop on the High Road in Thorndon and the police said at the time that they were looking to hear from bird food dealers who worked in the area.
The police said that they were also looking to hear from regulars at the Challenges Gym in Bishop's Stortford where she had been going.
The police said that they were also looking for an L or M registered transit style van that was seen on her road around the 9 and 10 July 2001 at about 2am.
They said that they were also interested in speaking to a man that was seen running along Station Road at about 6am on 10 July 2001 who was described as white, aged between 25 and 35 years old, with short fair hair and carrying a white plastic bag.
They also said that a third man was seen using a mobile phone in Leigh Road on two evenings at the beginning of July and then again later after 10 July. He was described as being in his mid-20s and as having short brown wavy hair.
The man that was tried for her murder was said to have been in a relationship with Julie Foster for three years, but that Julie Foster had ended it two weeks before her death saying that she didn't love him anymore. He was said to then have broken into her house in the night and beaten her to death with a cricket bat. The man had worked at Stanstead airport and police had canvassed the area with flyers during their investigation.
The man had called at Julie Foster's house later to collect some of his clothing and met Julie Foster's son who was crying and said to him 'Mummy's dead'.
They had first been childhood sweethearts and then met again later in 1997 when they began having a relationship around the time that Julie Foster left her husband.