Reports of Suicide Still Swirling, NYPD Now Calls NY Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s Drowning Death ‘Suspicious’

Associated Press
Associated Press

The New York City Police Department now says that state Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s death is “suspicious” after officials last week told the Associated Press that Abdus-Salaam’s drowning death was being treated as a suicide.

As previously reported by The Root, Abdus-Salaam, 65, the first Muslim woman in U.S. history to become a judge and the first African-American woman to sit on New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, was found dead the afternoon of April 12 when her fully clothed body washed up on the shore of the Hudson River in New York City.

Her husband had just reported her missing Tuesday, according to police.


Though the NYPD says that foul play is not evident, there is also no indication that Abdus-Salaam committed suicide as was first suggested.

“We have a middle-aged woman deceased in the water with all her clothes on with no signs of homicide or suicide,” New York Police Sgt. Brendan Ryan told ABC News on Tuesday evening.

“At this point, we can’t say for sure,” the NYPD said in a statement.


The results of an autopsy conducted on Abdus-Salaam last week came back inconclusive.

Read more at ABC News.

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It didn’t strike police as odd that a successful female judge would commit suicide by jumping in a river? C’mon. Jumping off a bridge is for broke/unemployed middle-aged men.