What to Know
- The medical examiner has ruled that 65-year-old Sheila Abdus-Salaam died by suicide in a drowning
- A police harbor unit recovered her body in April after she was reported missing.
- Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman on New York state's highest court.
The New York City medical examiner has concluded that a prominent judge found in the Hudson River in April died by suicide in a drowning.
The medical examiner's office issued the findings Wednesday in the death of 65-year-old Sheila Abdus-Salaam.
A police harbor unit recovered her body on April 12 after she was reported missing.
A previous autopsy was inconclusive, and the NYPD said there were no signs of foul play, suggesting she may have killed herself after wandering the streets of Harlem for four hours.
Her family said that didn't add up and disputed media reports that she was battling depression.
Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman on New York state's highest court.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Abdus-Salaam to the state's Court of Appeals in 2013. He called her a "trailblazing jurist" whose legacy "will be felt for years to come."
Abdus-Salaam graduated from Barnard College and Columbia Law School.
She started her career as a staff attorney for East Brooklyn Legal Services. She served as a judge on the Manhattan state Supreme Court for 14 years.