Judge’s Death Deemed ‘Suspicious’ as NYPD Searches for More Information – West Harlem

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 Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam's body was found floating in the Hudson River on April 12, police said.

Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s body was found floating in the Hudson River on April 12, police said.
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Flickr/State Court of Appeals

MANHATTAN — The death of the pioneering judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam has been deemed “suspicious” by investigators who are seeking more information, NYPD officials said Wednesday.

Abdus-Salaam, who was the first African-American woman to sit on New York state’s highest court, was found dead in the Hudson River near West 132nd Street about 1:45 p.m. on April 12, officials said.

“There’s no apparent trauma to her body. We don’t believe she was in the water a long time,” the NYPD’s Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at the time.

But in the ensuing week, few answers emerged.

Investigators said Wednesday morning that the judge’s death is “suspicious” because they can’t explain how she wound up in the river.

“When a body is found floating in a river, it is deemed suspicious in nature,” an NYPD spokesman said.

“The death may be classified as suspicious, in that the circumstances have not been clearly established,” the spokesman added.

Investigators are awaiting further information from the city’s Medical Examiner‘s office that might indicate what happened.

Abdus-Salaam was last seen wearing a charcoal gray sweatshirt with the word “Canada” emblazoned across the chest above the country’s flag and the word “Vancouver,” police said.

She wore black sweat pants, white ankle socks and white New Balance sneakers, police said.

Anyone with information should contact Det. Brian Schumacher (212)678-1351 or the Detective Borough Manhattan North at (212)694-1093.

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