MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Washington D.C. woman found dead inside the trunk of her vehicle while the suspect was sitting behind the wheel was a graduate of Socastee High School.
According to police in Washington, D.C., Tricia McCauley, 46, was reported missing on Christmas after she didn't show up to a dinner and missed a flight.
On Tuesday, a witness recognized McCauley's missing car. The suspect was reportedly inside the vehicle and police were alerted.
Officials found the woman's body inside the trunk of the car and the suspect was arrested.
Friends from Socastee High who graduated with McCauley are in disbelief.
"It just wasn't real, it wasn't real. There's no way something like that would happen to someone I knew and not someone that wonderful," said Jennifer Cribb, a friend of McCauley's.
Many of the members of her class said McCauley was passionate about acting. She was a part of the drama club during high school.
Cribb said McCauley's family lived on the military base when she attended Socastee High School.
"She just was always doing something awesome," said Cribb.
The Class of '88 created a Facebook group to honor McCauley and keep her memory alive through the sharing of stories and pictures of their friend.
Members of the class also decided to set up a memorial fund in McCauley's honor. They said the funds will benefit the Socastee High School's drama department.
Many friends said McCauley made everyone she came in contact with a better person, and they say losing her is hard and painful because she was so special.
"She drew you in," Cribb said. "Her energy was awesome. Just an incredible person and a huge, huge, huge loss."
Cribb said McCauley wore many hats, and anything she put her mind to, she did it.
McCauley was a yoga instructor in D.C., as well as an actress and a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Cribb said she just spoke with her friend last week over the phone. McCauley made plans to visit her in Myrtle Beach after the Christmas holiday.
"I said, 'OK, you postponed in May, when are you coming? What's the deal?' And she was like, 'Next week,' and that was less than a week ago," Cribb said. "And I'm just thinking, 'I wish you would have have come this week.'"
According to authorities, the dish McCauley made for the dinner was still sitting on her counter. Police said the man driving her car was taken into custody and identified as a suspect in a robbery at a CVS pharmacy.
Classmates say McCauley truly followed her own truth and path and they loved her for it.
"She made you feel like you were her best friend," Cribb said. "Whenever I needed her, whenever I needed to talk about something, she was right there, and she knew she could do the same. I think everybody felt that way about her."