Saturday 23 September 2017

Death of New York judge found in river is suspicious, police say

Sheila Abdus-Salaam Photo: New York Courts
Sheila Abdus-Salaam Photo: New York Courts
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The death of the first black woman judge to serve on New York's top court is being treated as suspicious, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam (65) was found floating in the Hudson River in March.

According to the NYPD, her death is now being treated as suspicious because there was no immediate indication of suicide or criminality.

"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 told ABC News.

The department said the death appeared to be non-criminal, but "at this point we can’t say for sure," according to an NYPD statement.

The policed department are seeking anyone with information as an autopsy was inconclusive.

Two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, told The Associated Press that the death was believed to be a suicide.

Abdus-Salaam, a native of Washington, D.C., became the first African-American woman appointed to the Court of Appeals when Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo named her to the state's high court in 2013.

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