Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, was discovered floating in the water near 132nd Street and Hudson Parkway at around 1:45 p.m., according to police sources. Witnesses had spotted her fully clothed body and called 911, police said.
NY Post Sources told The Post that Abdus-Salaam, who is an associate judge of the Court of Appeals, had been reported missing from her home in Harlem earlier in the day. Her husband later identified her body. Sources said it showed no obvious signs of trauma or injuries indicating criminality or foul play, and that her death appeared to be a possible suicide.
In addition to being the country’s first Muslim female judge, Abdus-Salaam was the first ever African-American woman to be appointed to the state’s Court of Appeals.
After receiving her degree from Columbia Law School, she began her legal career working as a staff attorney at East Brooklyn Legal Services. Abdus-Salaam rose through the state ranks before eventually being elected to the New York Supreme Court in 1993.
She was then appointed to the Court of Appeals by Cuomo in 2013. Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, who went to Columbia with Abdus-Salaam, was in attendance for her historic swearing-in ceremony and described how she had “defined herself by her relentless pursuit of excellence.”