A corpse found yesteday afternoon in a creek a quarter-mile from the Dale City shopping center appears to be the body of a 15-year-old girl who was last seen Wednesday night after getting a haircut with her mother and brother at the shopping center, police said.

Prince William County Police Sgt. Michael Cahill said the body of Lisa Renee Triggs, a sophomore at Osborne Park High School near Manassas, was found about 2:15 p.m. in a densely wooded area behind a convenience store.

Cahill said tentative identification was made by a close friend of the Triggs family and that police are treating the case as a suspicious death.

Positive identification will be made through dental charts and other means, Cahill said, and an autopsy is to be performed today or tomorrow.

Cahill said police were notified by the youth's parents at 10:50 p.m. Wednesday that Triggs was missing. County and state police began immediate searches.

The girl had not been seen since 7:30 p.m. when she begged her mother for permission to walk home so she could be home in time for her boyfriend's arrival at 8 p.m., a friend said.

Her mother and younger brother stayed at the Center Plaza to do some grocery shopping, she said, and the girl's mother reluctantly gave her daughter her house key.

Cahill said police made an aerial search of the area yesterday morning and that a group of volunteers, which had aided the family since Triggs' disappearance, was searching the wooded area when the body was found yesterday.

He said the body -- found face down in a shallow creek bed about 75 to 100 yards from the path Triggs supposedly had taken -- was discovered by two volunteers.

Cahill would not say if the body was clothed or showed signs of wounds or bruises, but he said the corpse did not appear to be severely decomposed.

Police conducted a crime scene search through the early evening yesterday, Cahill said, adding that investigators were "following up some leads" concerning possible suspects.