UPDATE April 13, 1:46 p.m. EST:
Though the investigation is ongoing, New York police are treating the death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American, Muslim judge to be appointed to New York's highest court, as a suicide, the New York Times reported.
Her death comes roughly three years after her brother had committed suicide, and nearly a year after her mother died.
ORIGINAL STORY: An appeals court judge who became the first Muslim and African-American woman appointed to New York's highest court was found dead near the shore of Manhattan's Hudson River, the New York Post reported. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, was found fully clothed, floating on the river just before 2 p.m.
Her husband filed a missing person request on Tuesday and was subsequently brought in to identify the body.
According to police, there were no signs of obvious trauma or injuries indicating foul play.
The trailblazing judge was appointed to New York's appeals court in 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer,” Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday. “Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come."
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family, loved ones and colleagues during this trying and difficult time,” the governor added.
District Attorney Madeline Singas paid tribute to Abdus-Salaam in a series of tweets.
Statement from DA Madeline Singas:— Nassau County DA (@NassauDA) April 12, 2017
Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a groundbreaking jurist whose distinguished service on the Court of Appeals...
...the New York State Supreme Court, as a public defender and public servant made our communities stronger and more just...— Nassau County DA (@NassauDA) April 12, 2017
My heart goes out to her family, friends and colleagues as they mourn this tragic loss.— Nassau County DA (@NassauDA) April 12, 2017
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