The body of a 34-year-old Capitol Hill woman who apparently had been beaten to death was found yesterday in her townhouse at 230 E St. NE by her children when they came home about 5:45 p.m., police and neighbors said.

The victim was identified as Pamela Edie, the wife of John A. Edie, described by neighbors as an attorney. Neighbors said the Edies had moved into the three-story and basement townhouse about three or four months ago and were not well known on the block.

Shortly after her body was found, police said Edie may have been killed by a burglar. Homicide detectives said late last night, however, that they knew of no motive and had no suspects.

Neighbors said the body apparently was discovered on an upper level of the brick house, which had been built in 1890 and renovated immediately before the Edies moved in.

A recent tabulation of real estate data here lists an assessed value of $126,900 for the Edies' house, and neighbors said its actual sale value would be considerably more.

Presidential assistant Hamilton Jordan and his wife, Nancy, moved into a house across the street from the Edie residence after coming here from Georgia at the start of the Carter administration.

Neighbors said they believed the Edies had come here from California. They said the couple's two sons are aged 7 and 9.

After discovering their mother's body yesterday, the boys went next door to the home of a neighbor, according to accounts of nearby residents. The neighbor returned to the house and called for an ambulance and police, according to the accounts.

Edie was pronounced dead on the scene, police said. They said last night that an autopsy would be conducted to determine the precise cause of death. The condition of the body was not disclosed, and there was no immediate information about whether any weapon was found.