Susan Trott was mysteriously murdered inside her Manhattan apartment and police have arrested a suspect. NYPD chief detective Dermot Shea revealed in a news conference that investigators had been focusing on one of Trott’s female neighbors as a person of interest.
The suspect is Anya Johnston, a 24-year-old woman who lived one floor above Trott. WCBS-TV, citing police, reported that Johnston has not yet been formally charged because she remained hospitalized. The New York Times reported that the woman had undergone a psychiatric evaluation.
Police discovered Trott’s body around 5 a.m. on October 21, 2018. Her friend and business partner had called police to check on Trott after not hearing from her for a few days.
Police entered the apartment and saw blood in the living room. There was a trail of it leading to the bedroom, where Trott was lying on her back with her throat slashed. Police said Trott was fully clothed and nothing appeared to have been stolen from the apartment, as reported by the New York Times. Police did not find a weapon. There was also no indication that anyone had forced their way inside the apartment. The New York Post quoted police as saying that Trott appeared to have been dead for more than 24 hours.
Trott lived in a luxury building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her apartment was on the 14th floor of 710 West End Avenue near 95th street, according to WCBS-TV. It’s a secure building with surveillance cameras and 24/7 doormen.
Susan Trott worked as a copywriter, according to her Linkedin profile. She divided her time between New York City and London. In addition to working as a freelancer for multiple companies, she was a partner with the marketing and advertising company Code Modern.
Trott’s business partner, Eric Boscia, spoke with the New York Times over the phone. He did not confirm whether he was the person who had called police to check on Trott. He described Trott as the “greatest, most generous, kindest person I’ve ever known.” Boscia compared Trott’s death to losing his own mother. Boscia told the newspaper that Trott was born and raised in New York City and loved animals.
Trott’s friend Eddie Levy told Heavy over email that Trott became interested in rescue dogs after he adopted his own dog. He told Heavy, “I always had my ASPCA rescue dog, Max with me. He never left my side and Sue wanted the same unconditional love. Her first dog was a pit bull.”
Levy shared that he met Trott in 1994 in the Hamptons. He described how Trott became part of his group of friends after a fun night out at a dance club in Sag Harbor. “She was dancing by herself on the floor and she had really long curly blond hair, she looked like a mini Nicole Kidman and she was rotating her head fast and her hair was going all over the place. My friends and I noticed that she’s seemed to be my herself so I started dancing with her which lasted for a few hours. She ended up hanging out with my friends and I from that point forward in the Hamptons every weekend and in the city and we became good friends and she joined our ski house in Mount Snow every winter and she was always a lot of fun and really enjoyed life. She absolutely loved to snowboard. Sue was extremely generous and giving with everyone in her life.”
Levy explained that Trott loved to ride motorcycles. He said that during the 90s, he and Trott and their significant others used to ride their bikes together “all over the Hamptons during the summer.” Levy added that he “couldn’t remember a time when Sue wasn’t smiling.”
Neighbors told NBC New York that Trott had lived in the building for more than a decade. She was known among the residents as someone who loved gardening. Neighbor Amy Apicella told WCBS-TV, “She was very nice, a good neighbor to have. We’d see her around all the time throwing bird seed for the birds.”
Neighbor Helen Stein noted that Trott had a big personality. She told the TV station, “She was like in charge of the gardening. I helped her with that and she was very adamant that we had to use certain colors, like purple and yellow. I wouldn’t say she was an easy person, but I was totally unaware that she had any enemies or anything like that.”
Trott had been divorced twice and did not have any children, a source told the New York Post.