A serial shoplifter and robber has been charged with murder in the death of a Washington, D.C. yoga teacher and actress who was reported missing by her family on Christmas day, police say.
Adrian Duane Johnson, 29, was arrested Monday after the body of Tricia McCauley, 46, was found, D.C. Metropolitan Police said in a press release.
Johnson, who also goes by Duane Adrian Johnson, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was found driving McCauley’s car, WJLA-TV reports.
Police say they do not believe McCauley and Johnson knew each other.
Johnson was charged Tuesday with first-degree felony murder and held without bail.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McCauley Was Beaten & Strangled to Death, Police Say
Tricia McCauley, of Northwest D.C., was beaten and strangled to death an autopsy by the chief medical examiner’s office found, according to police.
“The cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to ligature strangulation with blunt force trauma and the manner of death to be homicide,” the Metropolitan D.C. Police said in a press release.
Police detectives from the department’s homicide branch began investigating McCauley’s death after her body was found in her car Monday in the 2200 block of M Street, Northwest.
Her body showed signs of “apparent trauma” and she as pronounced dead at the scene.
Adrian Duane Johnson was also found at the scene, and was taken into custody, police said.
Police have said they do not believe Johnson and McCauley knew each other, but they have not released details about how they first came into contact. Other details about the case have also not been released.
Johnson is due in court Wednesday.
2. Johnson Has Been Arrested at Least 6 Times in 2016 & Should Have Been Wearing a GPS Monitor
Adrian Duane Johnson should have been wearing a court-ordered GPS monitor at the time of McCauley’s murder, but police told WUSA-TV he was not wearing it.
Johnson was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department on December 17 and accused of stealing four toothbrushes from a CVS store in D.C., NBC Washington reports.
He was released from custody on December 20 on conditions set by D.C. Judge Elizabeth Wingo that he wear the GPS monitor and undergo a mental health evaluation, WUSA reports. Prosecutors had asked that he be put into a high-intensity supervision program, according to the news station.
Wingo, the judge, ordered Johnson to report December 21 to be fitted with the GPS device, but he did not show up, a law enforcement source told WUSA. A warrant was not issued for his arrest.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office issued a statement about the arrest to WUSA-TV:
Everything about this incident is tragic, and we are committed to understanding what can be done to eliminate gaps in our criminal justice system and working with our federal partners to address them. The Mayor believes we must remedy lapses to ensure our neighborhoods are safer and stronger. That’s why she proposed GPS tempering legislation and will soon sign it into law.
Police say Johnson was charged with second-degree theft and simple assault when he was arrested Monday near McCauley’s car. He is a suspect in a robbery at a CVS Pharmacy in the 700 block of 14th Street NW on Monday morning, WRC-TV reports.
He was arrested at least six times in 2016, mostly in Northwest D.C., where McCauley lived and was killed.
Johnson was arrested September 1, 2016, and charged with robbery in an incident involving “force and violence” in the 1200 block of L Street, Northwest, according to Metropolitan Police Department records.
According to WRC-TV, he was arrested May 15, 2016, and charged with second-degree theft after an incident at Black Lion Market on 14th Street in Northwest DC. On June 10, he was arrested on charges of second-degree theft and assault on a police officer after an incident at Modell’s Sporting Goods, also on 14th Street in Northwest.
On September 1, he was charged with robbery and assault with intent after he was accused of stealing from two men in Northwest. He was charged December 12 with second-degree theft after an incident at the DSW Shoe Store on 14th Street.
He also has a record in Maryland.
According to Maryland court records, Johnson was arrested on a theft charge in June 2016. He was also charged with theft in 2014, and his address at that time was listed as Girard Street in Washington, D.C. He failed to appear in court in both cases and warrants were issued for his arrest.
Johnson’s stepfather, Russell Dixon, told the Washington Post that his stepson had suffered from mental illness and was living on the streets, but said he “never saw any aggression.”
Dixon told the Post, “The court system let him go. That’s not the help he needs. He should have been held.”
3. McCauley’s Family Reported Her Missing After She Failed to Show Up for a Christmas Party & Missed a Flight to Visit Relatives
Tricia McCauley was reported missing by her family and classified as a “critical missing person” by police, after she failed to show up for a Christmas party with friends and then missed a flight to Utah to visit relatives, the Washington Post reports.
According to the Post, McCauley was headed to dinner at a friend’s home on Christmas, and told them she was on her way about 4:30 p.m., but never arrived. She also did not respond to calls or texts.
A friend wrote on Facebook McCauley had slept through a dinner in the past, so they were “not too worried,” but then grew concerned when she missed her flight out of Ronald Reagan National Airport to visit family, the Post reports.
Her brother announced her death in a Facebook post Tuesday morning.
“Tricia is gone, they have found her body,” Brian McCauley wrote. “Thank you all for your work, support and love. To all of her D.C. family, I know she truly thought of you that way, thank you for being there for her all these years. Hang on to each other.”
4. She Was an Actress Involved in D.C.-Area Theaters, Taught Yoga Classes & Was a Nutritionist
McCauley was an actress, involved in local theaters and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. She was a stand-in for Jenna Dewan in the 2006 movie Step Up, and also had roles in two short films, The Paper Girl in 2000 and Never Dream: The Beginning in 2012.
Taking on multiple female roles, actress Tricia McCauley varies her performance throughout the production until she lands in her final character of Reidun. Starting first as the efficient, albeit stern, hospital nurse, McCauley then shifts to the epitome of a bad modern poet exposing the miasma of her melancholy at the poetry reading. Briefly playing a saucy and oversexed strumpet of a waitress, McCauley lands her final character with a curious combination of depth and simplicity. The way she allows her burgeoning feelings for Kjell Bjarne surge through her voice and out her very excitable animated eyes gives the audience a true connection to her emotions.
Imagination Stage, located in Bethesda, Maryland, released a statement about McCauley:
We are so saddened by the tragic news about Tricia McCauley, with whom Imagination Stage had the good fortune to work several times early in her career. Tricia was a regular Shakespeare instructor at our White Flint location, where she imparted her theatrical wisdom and love for the classics to dozens of adoring teen students. She also starred in several of our shows including Lyle and the Crocodile, Aladdin’s Luck, and a play about the ethics surrounding biotechnology by Jason Kravits called The Cutting Edge. Tricia brought her great intelligence, as well as a terrific sense of fun to all her acting work. She was respected and loved by everyone she worked with. We dedicated today’s performances of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Tricia’s memory. She will be missed but never forgotten by the friends, colleagues, and many audiences she touched.
Along with her acting career, McCauley was a yoga teacher at Yoga District, where she taught classes daily. A memorial service was being held for her there Tuesday night.
She graduated from American University in D.C. in 1992 with a theater degree, and also had a master’s degree in herbal medicine.
“I’m a nutritionist, wellness educator, and herbalist. I offer my clients tools to learn what foods and lifestyle choices truly nurture them, and I teach people how to use plants to support their health,” she wrote on her Linkedin page.
5. Johnson Drove to Several Locations Around D.C. in McCauley’s Car With Her Body Inside, Police Say
Police said Adrian Duane Johnson visited several locations in Washington, D.C., likely driving McCauley’s car, after she was reported missing.
Police released a timeline of his activity at a press conference Tuesday, asking for the public’s help in providing information about what he was doing on Monday before his arrest, WRC-TV reports:
– 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.
Police said Johnson was driving with McCauley’s body in the car.
Jonathan Padget told WRC-TV he saw the suspect near 21st and P Streets, by Dupont Circle and called police, leading officers to find Johnson.
“I definitely was aware that this could be a dangerous situation. “I just felt at that moment that I had a job to do,” Padget told the news station. He said Johnson’s behavior seemed off.
“He was moving around a lot, and he was smoking something.”