Body of New York State Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam found in Hudson River

By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Updated:

NEW YORK - Police said the body of the late New York Court of Appeals Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found floating in the Hudson River, according to WNBC. She was 65 years old.

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Police said her body did not show obvious signs of trauma. 

New York City Police Department officers responded to a call about a body floating in the river at 1:45 p.m., according to authorities. The body was found unconscious and unresponsive.

WCBS, citing unnamed police sources, reported that Abdus-Salaam’s husband reported her missing earlier Wednesday.

In 2013, Abdus-Salaam made history as the first African-American woman and the first Muslim appointed to the state’s highest court.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who appointed Abdus-Salaam, issued a statement on her death:

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. 

As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer. 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. 

I was proud to appoint her to the state’s highest court and am deeply saddened by her passing. 

On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family, loved ones and colleagues during this trying and difficult time.

The death is under investigation, and the exact cause will be determined by a medical examiner.

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