Tricia Lynn McCauley was last seen on North Capitol Street in Northwest D.C. on Sunday, Christmas day, around 4:30pm. She was active on Facebook around the same time.
McCauley was scheduled to go to a friend’s house that night. She had prepared a dish to bring to her friend’s party, but she never showed up, and the dish was left sitting on her kitchen counter.
On Monday morning, McCauley missed a flight out of D.C., unusual for the 46-year-old actress who, according to brother Brian, had “no history of mental illness, no history of anything like this.”
Someone did find her cell phone and called her parents. For two days, the McCauley family focused their efforts into finding Tricia.
Sadly, on Tuesday, Tricia’s body was found. The police had released information about Tricia’s car. A good Samaritan who saw the information happened to be walking his dog outside. He recognized the car’s license plate number and bumper sticker.
He told ABC7 News that the man inside the car was smoking a large cigar and blasting music. He tried to keep the man there for a minute until he could call the police. However, the suspect then drove away.
The man called the police, who then performed a vehicle stop. They reportedly found McCauley’s body inside the trunk.
The suspect is 29-year-old Adrian Duane Johnson, who is also connected to the Monday morning robbery of a CVS store nearby.
Police say the cause of death was asphyxia due to ligature strangulation with blunt force trauma. Johnson has been charged with first degree murder.
Early on Tuesday morning, Brian McCauley updated Facebook saying, “Tricia is gone, they have found her body. Thank you all for your work, support and love. To all of her DC family, I know she truly thought of you that way, thank you for being there for her all these years. Hang on to each other.”
Tricia McCauley was active in the local acting scene and had worked with a children’s theater organization in Bethesda. She was also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and worked as a yoga instructor. She was a stand-in for Jenna Dewan Tatum in Step Up.
Police Chief Peter Newsham told press, “We do not believe at this time that the suspect knew the victim.” Though it has yet to be confirmed, Tricia’s death seems to be the result of a random carjacking gone wrong.