The death of Judge Sheila Abdul-Salaam, the first black woman to sit on New York’s Court of Appeals, has been labeled “suspicious” by the New York Police Department.
READ: First Female Muslim Judge’s Body Found In Hudson River
ABC News reports authorities decided Tuesday (April 19) to take a deeper look into Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s death after there was no indication of suicide or misconduct. “We have a middle aged woman deceased in the water with all her clothes on with no signs of homicide or suicide,” NYPD Sgt. Brendan Ryan said.”When a body is found floating in a river, it is deemed suspicious in nature. Absent any clear signs of criminality, the cause of death is determined by the Medical Examiner,” he added. An autopsy from Thursday turned out to be inconclusive and needed further investigation.
Abdul-Salaam’s was found dead floating in the Hudson River, just a short distance from her home on April 12. Her husband reported her missing after she wasn’t seen at work. Considered a pioneer, Abdul-Salaam was the first African-American as well as the first Muslim woman to be appointed to New York’s top court. After news of her death spread, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and many more of her peers praised her skill and kind heart.
Police are asking for information for anyone who may have seen or knew anything about Abdul-Salaam’s death. The New York Times previously reported that Abdul-Salaam’s “loss” could’ve been due to the stress she was allegedly facing. Her mother and brother reportedly committed suicide in 2016 and 2013.
The #NYPD is seeking info on the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. Anyone with info is asked to call our detectives at the numbers listed. pic.twitter.com/pSXDtuaVTo
— NYPD 26th Precinct (@NYPD26Pct) April 18, 2017
READ: Friends & Colleagues Remember First Female Muslim Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam
UPDATE: 4/19/17 11:51 a.m. EST
ABC Eyewitness News reports a video was acquired by the NYPD that shows Abdus-Salaam walking in the direction of the river around 8 p.m. on April 11. She was seen wearing a tracksuit and sneakers. She reportedly did not have her phone or wallet when she left her home that day.