Tricia McCauley, Missing Actress and DC Yoga Instructor, Found Dead In Car; Man In Custody

The man arrested in connection with the death of a D.C. yoga instructor gave police the keys to her car after he was confronted in a CVS in Northwest Washington Monday night, ending the hours-long search for the woman who disappeared on Christmas Day, a police report reveals.

The search for 46-year-old Tricia McCauley began the day after Christmas, after she failed to show up to Christmas dinner at a friend’s house and then missed a flight out of Ronald Reagan National Airport on Monday morning, according to her brother and friends.

Police say McCauley was last seen at her home in Bloomingdale, on North Capitol Street NE at 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day.

In the hours following her disappearance, police released a photo of a man they said may have been driving McCauley’s car, a white, two-door Scion IQ with D.C. plates.

Jonathan Padget said chance brought him face-to-face with the suspect at CVS near 22nd and M streets late Monday. Padget and McCauley have mutual friends, and he saw the photos police released on a Facebook page Monday.

“I definitely was aware that this could be a dangerous situation,” Padget said. “I just felt at that moment that I had a job to do.”

Padget said he spoke to the man, confirmed the car and called police. But the suspect’s behavior seemed off, Padget added.

“He was moving around a lot, and he was smoking something,” Padget said.

Police confronted the suspect inside the CVS, and he gave them the car keys.

When the officers searched the car, they found McCauley’s body. Police have not said how McCauley died, but Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said there was trauma to her body.

Police do not believe the suspect and McCauley knew one another.

While police have not released the suspect’s name, Newsham said investigators need the public’s help figuring out his whereabouts in the last hours of McCauley’s life.

“We have a timeline that we would like the public to pay particular attention to,” Newsham said at a news conference Tuesday.

Police believe the suspect was in the following locations on Monday:

  • 12:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. – Suspect was on the 3400 block of Georgia Avenue NW.
  • 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. – Suspect was on the 400 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW.
  • 9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Suspect and the victim’s vehicle were spotted on the 700 block of 14th Street NW. There, police say the suspect robbed a CVS and assaulted the employees.
  • 11 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. – Suspect was on the 2300 block of Washington Place NE.
  • 1:15 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. – Suspect was on the 400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE.
  • 2 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. – Suspect was on 2800 block of 7th Street NE.

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SOURCE: NBC4 Washington – Jackie Bensen, Justin Finch