Cold Case: Police seek killer of Prince William teen

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Crime,Betsy Woodruff

Police continue to run DNA samples in their search for the person who killed a teenage girl 25 years ago, but are seeking help from the public to help solve the case.


Lisa Renee Triggs and her mother had just gotten haircuts at a local beauty parlor in Dale City, Va., on May 21, 1986.

Though her mom wanted the 15-year-old to come grocery shopping with her at Giant, it was about 7:30 and Lisa wanted to see her boyfriend. Her mother relented and gave her a house key so she could go home to meet her boyfriend at 8.

Lisa headed home along a path that led behind the grocery store and Dale City Recreation Center.

Somewhere along that path, she was sexually assaulted and murdered.

"We believe that it was a chance encounter, that it wasn't premeditated," said Paul Masterson, a cold-case homicide detective from Prince William County. "We don't believe she was followed; we believe she met somebody on the path and that person attacked her and she probably did not even know who this person was."

She died of blunt force trauma, probably from being struck with a large tree branch or pipe.

Her assailant partially buried her body under limbs and leaves away from the path, where it was found three days later.

Since the path was well traveled by homeless people and partygoers, the pool of possible suspects was large.

The police took DNA samples from more than 20 people, including Triggs' boyfriend, who was never seriously suspected of the crime. Though they found some people of interest, they have yet to find a likely suspect.

Police continue to compare the DNA samples of anyone in the area who is arrested for sexually deviant crimes, looking most recently at a sample about four weeks ago.

Masterson said the department asks for any assistance or cooperation citizens can provide. Information about the case can be left anonymously by calling Crime Solvers toll-free 866-411-TIPS. Those providing Crime Solvers tips may receiver a reward of up to $1,000. 

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