An unidentified woman's body was found at a La Grange house yesterday, and Tuolumne County sheriff's investigators are calling the case a homicide.

Few details were released, but sheriff's officials did confirm that a man who had lived at the house and has not been located for questioning had previously been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a woman who also lived there.

The body was discovered about 9 a.m. yesterday by Tuolumne County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Grant. He was called to the house on the 4800 blcok of Arbolada Drive to check on resident Mary Bisbing, 54.

Bisbing's sister in Reno had called sheriff's dispatchers to report she had been trying to reach Bisbing since Aug. 16, a sheriff's department report said.

Vivian Carlisle told deputies she had left several messages on her sister's answering machine and sent several e-mails that went unanswered.

She also said she and Bisbing had planned to take a trip starting Friday. When she called dispatchers, she had said she was concerned because of past domestic violence at the house, reports said.

Other than the body, there was no one in the house, said Sheriff's Lt. John Steely. Bisbing and Michael Cook, 45, who lived at the house with Bisbing, have not been located.

Sheriff's investigators spent yesterday at the house with criminalists from the state Department of Justice, Steely said.

The body was removed late yesterday and an autopsy is scheduled this week to determine the cause of death. Steely said identification will have to be made through dental records.

Bisbing was a victim of domestic violence twice this year, according to Tuolumne County Superior Court records.

On March 13, Cook was arrested on suspicion of damaging a telephone line, making threats to cause bodily harm and cohabitant abuse. He was taken to the county jail, but released April 3 after posting bail.

He pleaded guilty June 30 to damaging a telephone line and the other two charges were dismissed. Cook was sentenced in early August to 90 days in the county jail and five years probation.