On October 21, police discovered the body of 70-year-old Susan Trott in her bedroom. The victim was fully clothed, faceup and it did not appear as if someone broke into her home. While no weapon could initially be located, the medical examiner did confirm that the victim died as a direct result of being stabbed in the neck.
Police immediately found footprints in the victim’s blood that led away from the victim’s apartment and into the hallway. A visible blood trail went directly to an upstairs neighbor’s door. Police decided to focus their investigation on this primary suspect who was later identified as 24-year-old Anya Johnston. A search of the residence turned up more evidence including a bloody shoe.
24-year-old Anya was living in the apartment with her mother. According to police documents, Anya had previously been hospitalized due to mental illness. The suspect was described by authorities as “emotionally disturbed.” The week prior to the vicious murder, Anya had gone missing after wandering away from her home. Her mother had reported her missing, but she eventually returned home on the same day the murder occurred. Her mother immediately brought Anya to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital where she underwent a prompt psychiatric evaluation. Anya reportedly told her mother that she was “mentally unstable” after the incident occurred, but it’s unclear whether she disclosed details of the murder to her family prior to being taken to the hospital.
About one week after the gruesome murder, Anya was taken into police custody. She is being charged with both burglary and murder. The motive in this crime remains unclear.