Man charged after DC actress found dead inside vehicle after going missing on Christmas

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Police said a man has been charged with the murder of an actress and yoga instructor who was reported missing on Christmas Day and later found dead inside of her vehicle early Tuesday morning in D.C.

The body of 46-year-old Tricia McCauley was found around midnight in her vehicle in the 2200 block of M Street after authorities received a tip, said Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham at a Tuesday morning press conference.

McCauley, who was last seen around 4:30 p.m. on December 25 in the 2000 block of North Capitol Street, appeared to have suffered some type of trauma to her body. The suspect, Newsham said, was arrested nearby shortly after her body was found.

Police have arrested 29-year-old Adrian Duane Johnson, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He was initially charged with theft and simple assault, but after an autopsy of McCauley, Johnson was later charged with first-degree murder.

Police said the medical examiner's office has ruled McCauley's death as a homicide and determined she died from asphyxia due to ligature strangulation with blunt force trauma.

D.C. Mayor Bowser, who also spoke at the press conference, expressed her condolences to her family.

A D.C. man walking his dog spotted McCauley's missing car after seeing a friend posting on social media about the lookout for the missing woman and her car. Jonathan Padget would approach the white Scion vehicle, talked to the man in the driver's seat and then immediately called police.

"It was really scary," Padget said. "I'm so glad that I was there to see that and relay the information and help get some closure."

Police said that the last known contact made with McCauley was on Christmas Day at around 4:30 p.m. Newsham said investigators are seeking information from the public regarding Johnson's whereabouts on December 26 when he was believed to have traveled to several different locations in D.C. - some of them while using McCauley's vehicle. Police were unsure if McCauley was killed before her vehicle was taken or if her death occurred later.

Suspect Timeline | December 26

Between 12:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
3400 block of Georgia Avenue, NW

Between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
400 block of Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Between 9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
700 block of 4th Street - seen with McCauley's vehicle
Was involved in a suspected theft and assault at CVS store at this location

Between 11 a.m. and 11:50 a.m.
2300 block of Washington Place, NE

Between 1:15 p.m. and 1:35 p.m.
400 block of Rhode Island Avenue, NE

Between 2 and 2:20 p.m.
2800 of Southern Street, NE

Newsham added that it is not believed that Johnson and McCauley knew each other.

According to a post on a page originally designed to help in McCauley's search, friends say she was supposed to have Christmas dinner at a friend's house in northwest D.C. on Sunday and was expected to fly out of town to visit relatives on Monday morning.

The family first broke the news of her discovery on social media. "Tricia is gone; they've found her body," read an update early Tuesday. "Please join us in taking time now to remember Tricia as you loved her best."