24-Year-Old Woman Arrested in Upper West Side Murder Mystery

Police responding to a 911 call on Oct. 21 found Susan Trott unconscious and unresponsive inside her home on West End Avenue

What to Know

  • A 70-year-old woman was found dead inside her Upper West Side home with a laceration to her neck earlier this month, police said
  • Police found Susan Trott unconscious and unresponsive inside her home on West End Avenue the morning of Sunday, Oct. 21
  • A 24-year-old neighbor has been arrested on murder and burglary charges, police said Wednesday

A 24-year-old woman has been arrested in the grisly killing of a 70-year-old neighbor on the Upper West Side, police said Wednesday.

Anya Johnston, of West End Avenue, faces charges of murder and burglary in the Oct. 21 death of Susan Trott, whose neck was found cut after police followed a trail of blood from her living room to her bedroom. The two lived in the same apartment building, Johnston a floor above her alleged victim. 

It wasn't clear what relationship, if any beyond being neighbors, the two had. It also wasn't immediately clear if Johnston had an attorney.

Cops found Trott after her business partner called 911, saying she hadn't been seen in days. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. 

Detectives previously said it was likely she had been dead for at least a day; there were no signs of struggle or forced entry and nothing was stolen.

Neighbors said Trott lived in the building for more than a decade. They described her as an animal lover who was well known in the neighborhood.

"I started crying when I heard about it because she left to feed the birds," said one neighbor, Sandra May Flowers. 

Another neighbor, Helen Stein, described Trott as generous, a bit eccentric and a woman with strong opinions. It's not clear what kind of work Trott did. 

Other neighbors said they were shocked by the killing in the doorman-staffed building. 

"It's not possible to just walk [around], for an unknown person who is not known in the building to come here," said Susanna Molnar. "My gosh, this is shocking -- very very shocking. Shocking. In this building?"

"There is a doorman, so it had to have been someone inside," said Jack Demler. 

"That made me very scared," he said. "I mean, just for her as well, you're thinking you can trust somebody to let them into your apartment."  

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