Culpeper County, Va., law enforcement officials said yesterday they have no leads to the whereabouts of a 66-year-old woman who disappeared after leaving a local swim club the morning of July 5.

Sarah Compton left a women's exercise class at the Lakeside Swim Club in Culpeper about 11:30 a.m. 12 days ago, driving her silver gray 1988 Oldsmobile sedan. According to Sheriff Robert Peters, a $16 check written shortly after noon July 5, which cleared Compton's bank last week, indicates she stopped at a nearby supermarket. There has been no sign of her since.

Compton and her husband, Robert, 72, have lived on Robert Compton's 100-acre family farm for eight years, since he retired from construction work. The couple had lived in Arlington and Fairfax County 36 years and raised their two sons there. Sarah Compton had been a secretary several years at the Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington.

Her disappearance has disturbed and mystified friends, family and law enforcement officers in this rural county 60 miles west of Washington, where missing persons and the possibility of foul play are not an everyday occurrence.

"She goes out every Tuesday and Thursday to her exercise class and we didn't think anything of it," said Robert Compton. "She just didn't come home."

"We're just on the fence," said Peters. "There is nothing to indicate she was abducted or that she's gone off on her on."

According to Peters, Compton is in good health and is "a nice-type lady, a church-type lady. There's no history of her leaving home."

In neighboring Orange County a 62-year-old woman was abducted and slain 15 months ago. Police said they have no reason to believe there is a connection between the Culpeper and the Orange case, which is unsolved.

Peters said that soon after Compton's husband of 45 years reported her missing at 5 p.m. July 5, he notified the sheriff's departments in surrounding counties where local searches have been conducted. On July 9, State Police helicopters also joined the search.

Compton's name has been registered with the National Crime Information Center computer network operated by the FBI. The network is used to help find missing people, fugitives and stolen cars by keeping a record of names, descriptions, license numbers and other identifying information.

Compton is 5 feet 7 inches tall, has blond hair, hazel eyes and weighs 160 pounds, according to a sheriff's office description. When last seen she was wearing green slacks, a white and green striped T-shirt and white canvas shoes. The Virginia license plate on her car is SJZ 643.