NEWS

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, New York State Court Of Appeals Judge, Found Dead On Riverbank

04/13/2017 10:55 EDT | Updated 04/17/2017 10:20 EDT

NEW YORK — There are no signs that a crime was committed in the death of the first black woman on New York state's highest court, police said Thursday after her body was found on the bank of the Hudson River.

Medical examiners are still planning to perform an autopsy on 65-year-old Sheila Abdus-Salaam.

The New York City police harbour unit retrieved her body from the Hudson on Wednesday, a day after she was reported missing.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who appointed Abdus-Salaam to the state's Court of Appeals in 2013, called her a "trailblazing jurist.''

sheila abdussalaam

Sheila Abdus-Salaam was reported missing on Tuesday. (Photo: PIX11/Screenshot)

"As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the state's Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer,'' Cuomo said."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.''

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said her colleague will be "missed deeply.''

She graduated from Barnard College and received her law degree from 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.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that Sheila Abdus-Salaam was Muslim. In fact, she had been married to a Muslim man and took his name.