Society

Suspect Drove Dead Actress's Car With Her Body In It

| by David Bonner

A Maryland man has been charged with the murder of actress and yoga instructor Tricia McCauley.

McCauley, 46, went missing on Christmas Day, having failed to show up for an annual party hosted by Bill Largess, the artistic director of the Washington Stage Guild.

Adrian Duane Johnson, 29, was arrested Dec. 27 while in possession of McCauley’s car with her dead body in it, reports the Daily Mail.

An autopsy on McCauley revealed that she had been strangled and beaten. Johnson was subsequently charged with first-degree murder.

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In early December, Johnson was arrested at a CVS store in the D.C. neighborhood Columbia Heights, and charged with stealing four electric toothbrushes.

Johnson was supposed to have been wearing a court-ordered GPS device at the time he allegedly committed the murder, but was not wearing it at the time of his arrest, according to police.

Court documents reveal that he has multiple robbery and theft arrests in D.C. and Maryland. Documents also suggest a possible mental illness, which was corroborated by his stepfather, Russell Dixon, who told The Washington Post that his stepson suffered from mental problems and was homeless. “The court system let him go. That's not the help he needs,” he said.

McCauley’s most high-profile acting role was her appearance in the 2006 dance movie “Step Up.”

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She was remembered by Bill Largess as a “creative and open actress” who was “a delight to watch on stage.”

Ann Norton, the guild's executive director, said she met police and the landlord at McCauley's apartment and saw evidence that McCauley had prepared the Brussels sprouts she planned to bring to dinner, but the dish was gone.

Norton lamented the loss of "a theater daughter."

"She was an intelligent actress who was very committed to her art," added Ann Norton, the Washington Stage Guild’s executive director. “She played ingenues well, with smarts and sass.”

She was also a popular instructor at Yoga District, a chain of community-run yoga centers in the D.C. area. The organization’s website posted a comment, relayed by a neighborhood blog, regarding McCauley’s death, which sheds more light on her personality and life:

Beloved Yoga District teacher, healer, herbalist and actor Tricia McCauley has passed. Her regular weekly yoga class at 5:15pm today is being transformed into a community-led vigil celebrating her life and love that lives on in all of us forever. Please come to Yoga District Bloomingdale (1830 1st St NW) at 5:15pm for brief meditation, a community sharing circle, and a couple chants followed by a 6:15pm candlelit procession to the park at 3rd and Elm Streets NW where another vigil for Tricia starts at 7pm. At the park feel free to share drawings, poems, plants, lotions, incense, words, skits, or any mementos that celebrate and honor Tricia. The park vigil will feature a couple chants, a couple short speeches, a period of silent mourning with candle lighting, and hopefully some howling at the moon.

Sources: Daily Mail, Bloomingdale Blog / Photo credit: WRC-TV

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