Tricia McCauley: D.C. actress and yoga Instructor mourned after senseless murder

A Christmas Day disappearance ended in tragedy this week after actress Tricia McCauley was found dead in her car on Tuesday. Her suspected killer, Adrian Dwayne Johnson, had been ordered to wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet earlier this month after another in a string of robbery arrests this year, but failed to appear at a December 21 appointment to receive the device — or follow earlier orders to undergo mental health screenings and drug rehabilitation. He was wanted for two instances of failing to appear in court.

Police released photos of McCauley, 46, and her car after her disappearance Sunday, and a sighting of the car led them to apprehend Johnson at a CVS Monday night, where he gave them the keys. They found McCauley’s body inside, beaten and strangled. Police do not believe McCauley and Johnson knew each other.

McCauley was last heard from as she departed her home on Sunday for an annual holiday dinner with friends. When she did not appear or respond to text messages, her friends were concerned. And on Monday morning, when she failed to board a flight to visit family, it became clear something was very wrong.

The actress and yoga instructor appeared as Jenna Dewan Tatum’s stand-in in the 2006 movie, Step Up. She was also an avid herbalist and urban gardener. Her death was first reported by her brother on Facebook. Friends and family hosted a community vigil in McCauley’s honor on Tuesday evening at a yoga studio, where she taught a regular class.

“Everybody had a crush on her,” her friend Jason McCool told the Washington Post. “I remember seeing her across the bar and thinking, ‘Who is that?’ And then I got to know her and realized her beauty was the least interesting thing about her.”

Police charged Johnson, 29, with first-degree felony murder, along with additional charges.

[Feature Photo by D.C. Metro PD]