'Step Up' Actress Found Dead After Vanishing Christmas Day: Suspect Drove Around with Her Body, Cops Allege

A Washington, D.C., actress was found dead little more than a day after vanishing on Christmas, and a suspect has been taken into custody, police said

A Washington, D.C., actress and yoga instructor was found dead little more than a day after vanishing on Christmas, and a suspect has been taken into custody, police said Tuesday.

Tricia McCauley’s family announced her death on Facebook early Tuesday morning, which Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham later confirmed at a news conference.

“Tricia is gone, they found her body,” her brother Brian McCauley wrote on Facebook. “No more details from the police at the moment, just that they found her body.” He continued by thanking her friends and “DC family” for their support of his sister.

“Hang on to each other,” he wrote. (The family could not immediately be reached.)

Investigators said they located the 46-year-old Tricia’s missing Toyota Scion near 22nd and M streets in northwest D.C. shortly after midnight on Tuesday, after a tipster saw the vehicle and called police. The man who was driving the car with Tricia’s body inside was arrested, according to ABC 7.

Tricia, who worked as a stand-in on 2006’s Step Up and appeared in multiple short films and D.C. stage productions, had been missing since Sunday after failing to arrive at a Christmas dinner at a friend’s home, according to ABC 7. She then missed a scheduled flight out of Ronald Reagan National Airport the following morning.

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Metropolitan Police Department

Chief Newsham said at the news conference that the male suspect did not appear to know Tricia. His name will be released later Tuesday. It appears he has not yet been charged.

It was not immediately clear if the suspect has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

Police are now looking to reconstruct a better timeline of Tricia’s apparent abduction and death and they have released an image of the suspect as they seek more info from the public.

Authorities allege the male suspect robbed a CVS Monday and assaulted an employee.

Metropolitan Police Department
Tricia McCauley
C.Stanley Photography

‘One of the Most Beautiful Souls’

A close friend of Tricia’s took to Facebook early Tuesday, following her death, and wrote, “She has one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever had the privilege to encounter.”

“I never imagined having to walk through this life without her,” the friend continued. “I have no words of wisdom, I have no comfort to offer.

“The world is a colder and uglier place now. I wish I could say something to make this better, but I cannot. Love to all of her friends and family.”

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