Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam drowned herself in Hudson, city says

Elias Hubbard
July 28, 2017

On Wednesday, the city's Medical Examiner's Office ruled the cause and manner of death suicide by drowning, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.

Her body was discovered not long after.

Based on water found in her lungs, suggesting that she was still alive when she hit the water, police initially thought that Abdus-Salaam had committed suicide. The NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner said on Wednesday that Abdus-Salaam had drowned and that the death was a suicide.

Cops obtained security video that showed her on W. 131st St.in Harlem at 8:30 p.m. on April 11, The News previously reported.

A police harbour unit recovered the body of 65-year-old Sheila Abdus-Salaam in April after she was reported missing. The footage captured on the day of her death also showed the woman entering the W. 145th St. entrance of Riverbank State Park around 12:30 a.m, an hour before was found. Officials believe she was headed toward the river. Some, such as Abdus-Salaam's husband, Rev. Gregory Jacobs, has dismissed the notion that his wife killed herself.

The information was made public yesterday, and marks the end of a lengthy wait for answers in the loss of the first black woman to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals.

"We're speaking to everyone she was involved with in her lifetime", Boyce said.

The NYPD investigation was closed on May 3.

Abdus-Salaam was appointed to the state Court of Appeals in 2013.

She started her career as a staff attorney for East Brooklyn Legal Services. Prior to that, she served as a Manhattan Supreme Court judge for 14 years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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