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Full Version: Sheila Abdus-Salaam, NY Judge, Washes Up Dead On Hudson River Shore
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Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a 65-year-old judge for the New York Court of Appeals who made history in 2013 when she became the first black woman — and the first Muslim — appointed to the state's highest court, was discovered dead Wednesday afternoon in the Hudson River off the Harlem coastline, according to the NYPD.

The NYPD harbor unit recovered Abdus-Salaam's body from the Hudson River around 1:45 p.m., police told Patch.

"Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement issued late Wednesday

"As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer," Cuomo said. "Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come."

A police spokeswoman said Abdus-Salaam's body was pulled from the river Wednesday and transported to West 125th and Marginal streets, where paramedics pronounced her dead.

An NYPD investigation into her death is ongoing, police said. The medical examiner's office will be in charge of determining her official cause of death.

On Wednesday, after responding to an emergency call, officers with the New York Police Department’s Harbor Unit found the body of Judge Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman to serve on New York State’s highest court, in the Hudson River in Harlem with no apparent signs of trauma and no indications of foul play. The police are treating her death as a suicide, although an investigation is continuing.

According to one law enforcement official, Judge Abdus-Salaam called her Midtown Manhattan chambers on Tuesday morning to say she would not be coming in because she was not feeling well. When the judge failed to appear on Wednesday, her assistant sent a text to her husband of eight months, who called 911 to report her missing a short time later. Her body was found that afternoon, floating in the river by the shore near West 132nd Street.

The judge was wearing a gray zippered sweater, black sweatpants, a gray T-shirt and New Balance sneakers, the official said. She also had a white watch on her wrist and a MetroCard in her pocket. Investigators do not believe that she had been in the river long.

Judge Abdus-Salaam was last seen leaving her office on Monday evening, and investigators tracked her to the subway — the No. 6 line — at about 8 p.m., the official said. Investigators found the judge’s cellphone in her apartment, another official said, and the door had been locked with keys from the outside. Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

“She was a lovely, genteel lady,” Jonathan Lippman, a former chief judge of New York State, said. “We’re all just shocked. No one has any idea what happened.”

Since 2013, Judge Abdus-Salaam had been one of seven judges on the State Court of Appeals. Before that, she served for about four years as an associate justice on the First Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, and for 15 years as a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan. She was previously a lawyer in the New York State attorney general’s office.

US judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman to serve in New York's highest court, has been found dead in the city's Hudson River.
New York police said they pulled the 65-year-old from the water and pronounced her dead on Wednesday after being alerted by an emergency call.
Her husband had reported her missing, police said.
They are reportedly treating the death as a possible suicide but an investigation is ongoing.
The body was fully clothed and showed no signs of trauma or criminality, police said.
Her husband told police she had not been heard from since Tuesday morning.
Judge Abdus-Salaam's brother took his own life three years ago and she had been battling depression, according to reports.
It probably was She-ra's or Talons thread you posted in. I cant remember which had the same thread topic going.