A 17-year-old Bowie girl was found fatally shot yesterday on a paved path about two blocks from her home, Prince George's County police said.

The victim, identified as Stacey Seaton, was several weeks pregnant and had been shot in the back of the head, said a source who did not want to be identified because the case is under investigation.

"We are trying to canvass the area, find out . . . when she was last seen," said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman.

A passerby walking in the 3200 block of Scarlet Oaks Terrace discovered the fatally wounded girl about 3:30 p.m. on a winding path in a wooded area behind a playground, Richardson said. Seaton was pronounced dead at a hospital.

"I'm surprised we had a murder occur behind a well-populated, well-traveled path during daylight hours," Richardson said.

John Birckhead, principal of Bowie High School, said he knew Seaton when she was in ninth grade.

"She was a nice kid," he said last night. "This has kind of taken us all by surprise."

He said he thought Seaton had transferred this year to Tall Oaks Vocational High School in Bowie.

Staff writer Allan Lengel contributed to this report.