A 20-year-old waitress was found dead yesterday by her mother and brother in her bedroom in the family's home in the Lake Barcroft section of Fairfax County, police said.

Marion E. Murphree, a 1993 graduate of JEB Stuart High School in Annandale, died of a gunshot wound to the upper body, police said. Police were called to the home, in the 3700 block of Woodland Circle, by a family member about 11:30 a.m.

Police did not identify a suspect or provide a motive.

Police said their investigation is in a preliminary phase. Officer Gary Brown, a police spokesman, said investigators wanted to talk to the woman's boyfriend, who the spokesman said sometimes stayed at the house. He was not identified. Several family members, including Murphree's mother, apparently were inside the brick house at the time of the slaying, but none heard any disturbance, according to Joe Murphree, a brother.

Neighbors also said they heard nothing and expressed shock at the killing.

"This is normally a quiet neighborhood, thank God," said one neighbor, Bob Reed. The woman had been working for about six months as a waitress at Fritzbe's restaurant in Annandale.

"She was friendly and hard-working and had a lot of friends here," said John Palladino, a manager at the restaurant.

Murphree also worked as a saleswoman at a clothing store at Seven Corners, according to Joe Murphree.

"She was a great person, always doing fun things," he said. Amy Murphree, the victim's sister, said that her mother found Marion dead about 11:30 a.m., when she went to awaken her to help with house cleaning.

Amy said that her sister's body was buried beneath clothes and that her head was stuck between two pillows.

"Mom started pulling the clothes off her and saw blood on the bed," Amy Murphree, 18, said. "She yelled and called for" another brother, Jay Murphree. "She was afraid to see what happened."