Effervescent, creative, talented: DC community remembers slain actress, yoga teacher Tricia McCauley

A D.C. community is mourning the loss of a 46-year-old D.C. woman who went missing on Christmas. Only two days after her disappearance, police would tragically find her dead inside of her car.

People who knew Tricia McCauley said she lived and spread her love of yoga, nutrition and acting with others. She is being remembered as a kind and generous soul.

Flowers were left at Yoga District where McCauley taught yoga. Classes went ahead as scheduled on Tuesday, but many participants in those classes told us they were just too emotional to talk about her and what she meant to people here.

But Jennifer Mitchell, a friend and fellow instructor at Yoga District, described McCauley as "effervescent."

"She was talented," Mitchell said. "I never saw her act, but you could tell she expressed her emotions and was kind and generous. I think that is what made her a good yoga teacher as well."

Yoga was just one of many passions for McCauley. She was an herbalist at Common Good City Farm near Howard University Hospital. She also ran a business called Leafyhead Lotions and Potions, which sold natural health and holistic products.

McCauley also worked as a professional actress with roles in films such as "The Paper Girl," "Step Up" and "Never Dream: The Beginning." She also performed in several theater productions at the Washington Stage Guild, Imagination Stage, Rainbow Theatre Project and others.

As part of an Air Force family, McCauley moved around a lot growing up, said Bill Largess, the Washington Stage Guild's artistic director. She moved to Washington to study at American University and stayed. She was a warm, kind person with friends from all kinds of backgrounds, he said.

"She was an intelligent actress who was very committed to her art," Ann Norton, the guild's executive director, said. "She played ingenues well, with smarts and sass."

Her first role with the Washington Stage Guild was Anna in "Anna Karenina" in 1997, Largess said. Her most recent role with the company came last year. It was in "On Approval," a British comedy from the 1920s, and she was a "just a riot," he said.

"She was a creative and open actress," Largess said. "She was a delight to watch on stage."

A gathering was held at Yoga District Tuesday evening aimed at both commemorating McCauley's spirit while helping her D.C. community heal. Later that night, about 100 people came together in Ledroit Park for a candlelight vigil for McCauley.

"She was just the type of person where even if you met her for a really brief moment, it was just obvious how wonderful she was and how full she was of life and love," said Maria Fyodoroba, a friend of McCauley. "People were just drawn to her."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.