A murder investigation was launched after the body of Julia James, 53, was found in Akholt Wood, Snowdown, near Dover, just after 16:00 BST on Tuesday.
Police have been carrying out fingertip searches of woodland and nearby fields and the PCSO was off duty at the time of the attack.
Kent Police colleagues confirmed Ms James had served on the force as a PCSO and said they were pursuing “a number of lines of inquiry” into her death.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said she had been “so saddened” to learn of the death.
Detectives have appealed for anybody who was in the area on Monday or Tuesday to come forward.