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 NW 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 did not show up to a dinner at a friend’s house Sunday and also 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 on North Capitol Street NW 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.

Police say someone spotted McCauley’s car near 22nd and M streets in northwest D.C. Monday night and called 911. Officers found the man seen driving her car inside a nearby CVS, and the suspect gave them the 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 4th Street SW. 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.

“If anyone has any information or saw the suspect at any of these location at these times, we’d appreciate if they’d give us a call,” Newsham said.

McCauley’s family announced her death on Facebook early Tuesday morning.

The Facebook post thanked her “D.C. family” for their work in searching for McCauley and for their support and love through the years. McCauley was also an herbalist and active in D.C.’s theater community.

“Hang on to each other,” it read.

McCauley’s weekly yoga class at Yoga District Bloomingdale will become a vigil in honor of her memory. The vigil will begin at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday and will be followed by a candlelit processtion to the park at 3rd and Elm streets northwest.

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