Death of Muslim Judge may not have been accidental

New information has emerged from law enforcement officers investigating the death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam.

Abdus-Salaam was found dead on Wednesday, floating in the Hudson River.  In recent years, both her brother and mother died around this time of year.  Her brother committed suicide by gun just three years ago, still mourning the loss of their mother.

The New York Post reports that Abdus-Salaam was “struggling with depression”.

New York’s Chief of detectives Robert Boyce says that Abdus-Salaam’s body showed no signs of injury.  Although the autopsy is not complete, at this time the police don’t believe her death to be criminal in nature.

Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman attain a position as a judge in the New York State Court of Appeals. She also spent 15 years as a State Supreme Court justice and before that, 4 years as an associate justice on the First Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court.

The Columbia University graduate began her career at the East Brooklyn Legal Services and later as a civil rights and real estate financing bureaus assistant attorney general, in the New York State Department of Law.

Described as a “trailblazer”, Sheila Abdus-Salaam was also the country’s first Muslim woman to serve as a judge.

On Tuesday morning, Abdus-Salaam called her assistant to report that she would not be in due to an illness.  When she didn’t show up to work the next day, the assistant contacted Abdus-Salaam’s husband.

Investigators say she was last seen Monday evening around 7 p.m. and her whereabouts Tuesday are unknown. Police don’t believe she was in the water “the whole time” she was missing.

Her body was found floating on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River near 132nd Street at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday. She was wearing a jogging suit, sources say.

“We’ve spoken to many people in her family about her history. We don’t believe she was on any kinds of drugs at all.  No (prescribed) medication that we know of.” Boyce said, stating that there was still a lot of investigating to do.

H/T: New York Post

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