A 27-year-old Arlington woman, whose body was discovered Saturday in a wooded area near Falls Church, was shot to death by an assailant who probably wandered off into the woods after the shooting, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

The body of Margaret E. Goehring was found near the dead end of Tinners Hill Road. Goehring's car was parked 20 feet from where her body was found, police said, but they refused t discuss whether she drove to the area voluntarily or was kidnapped by her assailant.

When police first discovered the body late Saturday afternoon, they could not determine how she died. An autopsy Sunday revealed that she had been killed by a single small caliber bullet, probably fired from a small handgun, police said.

Police were responding to a call to investigate a suspicious vehicle when the body was discovered. Neighbors near the section of Tinners Road where the victim was found said they heard at least one gunshot before calling the police.

"Footprints near the body gave the impression that the assailant walked into the heavily forested area after the crime had been committed. Her body was located about 20 feet from her car," said a police spokesman.

An extensive air and ground search by Fairfax County K-9 officers and a U.S. Park Police helicopter conducted Saturday evening failed to turn up a suspect, a police spokesman said.

By Monday authorities reported few leads. No suspects had been apprehended, they said. Goehring shared her home on N. Henderson Road in Arlington with two roommates. Both declined to comment on her death yesterday.

An investigation into the homicide was continuing Monday night, Fairfax police said.