Montgomery County police were searching the woods and fields around the Olney Mill subdivision yesterday for an 81-year-old Chinese woman who has been missing from her home since Monday morning.

The woman, Chi Chen Kou, apparently went out after she took in the morning mail and wandered away from her home at 18544 Queen Elizabeth Dr. where she lived with her son Samuel and his family, police said.

Samuel Kou said his mother speaks and understands no English. She had moved here two years ago from China following the death of her husband.

Kou is offering a $2,000 reward for anyone who can locate his mother.

Kou said his mother whose 81st birthday is today, has never before wandered off and spends most of her time in the family home or backyard. "She was maybe a little lonely because she has no friends. She had many friends at home (in China) . . . In all the activities for senior citizens here, you have to speak English," Kou said.

Kou's wife, Grace, said she contacted the police at about 12:30 p.m. Monday after she and her niece had unsuccessfully searched the immediate neighborhood for her mother-in-law.

This missing woman reportedly was wearing a light green dress with black dots, and black shoes. She has gray hair, weighs about 90 pounds and is about 5 feet tall, police said.