A Potomac woman suffered blunt-force trauma before being killed Thursday in her home, Montgomery County police said yesterday.

They said they are trying to determine who killed Shohreh Seyed-Makki, 54, and why.

"We're interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen something in the area that at the time may have seemed routine but now might provide us with a timetable or more information," said Officer Derek Baliles, a Montgomery police spokesman.

Police declined yesterday to provide details about the nature of the injuries sustained by Seyed-Makki.

Authorities received a call about 6:30 p.m. Thursday from a man who had been asked to check on Seyed-Makki. The man, a family friend, stopped by the house in the 9500 block of Newbridge Drive because Seyed-Makki's husband, Khosrow S. Makki, 53, was concerned after his wife failed to show up for a 1 p.m. appointment, police said.

The man, who was not identified by police, called 911 after finding her unconscious inside the house.

Mahin Ghadiri, who said she was the victim's best friend, said relatives are struggling to understand why anyone would kill Seyed-Makki.

"She was one of a kind. She was such a lady," said Ghadiri, who has been a close friend of the family for 24 years. "She was a good mother and a good wife."

Ghadiri said the Makkis moved to the United States almost 30 years ago as a young couple from prominent families in Tehran. They had two children: Amanda, 27, and Mark, 23.

Seyed-Makki did administrative work in the Greenbelt office of her husband, an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Ghadiri said Seyed-Makki was instrumental in his success.

Ghadiri, a real estate agent, said she met Seyed-Makki at a Rockville store more than two decades ago, when they were both recent immigrants. "I was Persian and she was Persian," Ghadiri explained. "We were drawn to each other."

Despite the family's wealth, Seyed-Makki remained modest, Ghadiri said.

"They had a great quality of life," Ghadiri said. "But she was a down-to-earth person. She never pretended to be anything but herself."

Seyed-Makki loved to travel, Ghadiri said, adding that the two of them recently returned from a trip to Spain and were planning to travel to Iran next month.

Ghadiri said she last saw Seyed-Makki Wednesday night at a dinner party Ghadiri hosted for a small group of friends. Seyed-Makki enjoyed the evening, and there were no signs that anything in her life was amiss, Ghadiri said.

"We had such a wonderful evening," Ghadiri recalled. "She was so happy, so cheerful."

Seyed-Makki had breakfast with her husband Thursday, Ghadiri said.

The two-story, 4,800-square-foot house was unoccupied yesterday afternoon, and its front door and three garage doors were sealed with crime scene tape. The family could not be reached to comment.

Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.