A 54-year-old woman was found dead in her Potomac home last night, and police are investigating the case as a homicide.

The body of Shohreh Seyed-Makki was found about 6:55 p.m. by a family friend who went to check on her, at the request of Seyed-Makki's husband, after she didn't show up for an afternoon appointment, said Lt. Eric Burnett, a spokesman for the Montgomery County police.

Burnett would not comment on the cause of death, whether there were signs of forced entry to her home or where the body was found.

"At this time, we're not releasing the cause of death. We just don't know," he said.

Neighbors said Seyed-Makki, who is identified in Maryland voter registration records as Shohreh Makki, had lived with her family in the 9500 block of Newbridge Drive since the early 1990s. Her husband, Khosrow Makki, is a surgeon, and the family is well known in the local Iranian community, neighbors said.

Several friends went to the large, two-story brick house last night, looking for information and offering to help the family.

Moje Daemy said he has known the Makkis for 20 years. All three fled Iran in the early 1980s, he said. He described Shohreh Makki as a friendly and giving person who would speak to everyone at parties.

"She was perfect," he said. "Very happy. . . . Everybody loved her."

Police were talking with family members and the friend who found the body, Burnett said.

"Right now, we don't have a whole lot of leads," he said.