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

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  The New York Police department said Tuesday that the death of a New York Court of Appeals judge whose body was found on the banks of the Hudson River in Manhattan last week is suspicious.

The NYPD said it would treat the death of Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman to serve on New York’s top court, 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 late Tuesday.

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.

Abdus-Salaam’s body washed up on the banks of the river in an area near Harlem last Wednesday, a day after she was reported missing, police said.


The NYPD said it is seeking people who may be able to shed light on the hours leading up to her disappearance, with hopes that it will help it to establish what happened.

Abdus-Salaam, 65, was appointed to the New York Court of Appeals by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013. She served as a judge on the Manhattan state Supreme Court for 14 years.

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