New York police are now treating the death of America’s first female Muslim judge as “suspicious,” six days after her body was found in the Hudson River.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, was the first African-American woman to serve on New York’s Court of Appeals and the first Muslim woman to serve as a US judge.
Her body was found floating in three feet of water near Manhattan’s west side on Wednesday afternoon last week. She had last spoken to her husband at 7pm on Monday and spoken to her assistant on Tuesday.
Police said at the time that Ms Abdus-Salaam’s body was found fully clothed and showed no obvious signs of trauma. Her death was initially treated as a suicide, with one law enforcement official stating that both the judge’s mother and brother had died in recent years around Easter. Her brother had taken his own life.
Investigators are now treating her death as suspicious, adding that there is no “clear indication” of criminality or suicide.
“We’re looking at it as a suspicious death at this point. We haven’t found any clear indications of criminality, but at this point we can’t say for sure. We’re hoping if anyone could shed any light into the hours before her disappearance, it would help us establish what happened,” NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis