Tricia Mccauley
Tricia Mccauley DC Police Department

A Maryland man has been charged with first-degree murder following the death of an actress and yoga teacher whose body was found on 26 December after being reported missing at Christmas.

Tricia McCauley, 46, of Washington D.C., was reported missing by her family after she failed to board a flight to visit her family on the West Coast over the holidays and missed a Christmas dinner.

Her body was discovered in a car on Tuesday morning, showing signs of trauma, with the cause of death a result of asphyxia from being strangled by a ligature and blunt force trauma, the Associated Press reported.

Adrian Duane Johnson, 29, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday (27 December) after the discovery of McCauley's body.

Police, who linked the suspect with McCauley's death following a theft from a CVS store, do not believe Johnson and McCauley knew one another.

McCauley was an actress, involved in local theatres and was a member of the Screen Actors Guild. According to her IMDb she was a stand-in for Jenna Dewan-Tatum in dance film Step Up (2006), and starred in the short films The Paper Girl (2000) and Never Dream: The Beginning (2012).

A candlelit vigil was held in her honor at the yoga studio where she works on Tuesday.