The Loudoun County Sheriff's Department is attempting to determine the identity of a young woman whose remains were discovered Tuesday in an isolated area about one mile east of Leesburg.

A preliminary report released yesterday by the Northern Virginia medical examiner said that the remains are those of a white female, aged 19 to 23 and about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall.

The report said the woman had been dead from two to four months. The remains were found by employes of a gas pipeline company just off Rte. 653, three miles south of Rte. 7.

Loudoun sheriff's officials said they are checking with other police agencies in the Washington area to see if the description matches that of any missing persons.

Yesterday deputies searched the area for evidence. "We are investigating the case as a homicide," said Greg Stocks, sheriff's department spokesman. "We work all unattended bodies as a homicide until evidence suggests otherwise." The skeleton was found unclothed, although blue jeans and tennis shoes were discovered nearby.

Two employes of the Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. were checking an underground gas line. "We saw something in the weeds and went to investigate," said Larry Loar, one of the employes. "Then we found what we found. There was just a few weeds around. During the summer I imagine the area would be pretty overgrown."