Friends of a D.C. actor and yoga instructor who went missing Christmas Day -- and was later found beaten and strangled to death in her car -- have founded a crowd-funding site in her memory, devoted to paying for health insurance for other D.C. theater professionals.
Friends of Tricia McCauley said on their YouCaring site that Mccauley, who was self-employed, was "often without health insurance."
McCauley eventually qualified for insurance under the Actor's Equity Association union, but others may need help paying premiums. "The intent is to have an ongoing endowment, not a one-time award," the site reads.
As of Friday afternoon, it had raised almost $25,000.
McCauley was reported missing after she didn't appear at a friend's house for dinner on Sunday, then missed a flight the next day. The search for her and her white Toyota Scion IQ lasted until early Tuesday morning.
Police found the car near a CVS in northwest D.C. and, inside, found Duane Adrian Johnson with the keys in his pocket, police said. Inside the car, they found McCauley's body.
Johnson has been charged with murder. Police said McCauley had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.
McCauley was a part of close-knit communities in D.C. She was active in Washington theater and taught yoga. She was a passionate herb gardener and herbalist, as well as a accredited nutritionist.
Some of the commenters on the YouCaring site called her their "favorite teacher."
"Tricia changed my life and helped me understand what health truly is and means," one commenter said. "I didn't know what I didn't know until I got to work with her one in one as a health coach and we quickly became friends. She was a brilliant actress and phenomenal guiding light of inspiration to all."