Police said the body of the late New York Court of Appeals Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found floating in the Hudson River, according to WNBC. She was 65 years old.
Police said her body did not show obvious signs of trauma.
New York City Police Department officers responded to a call about a body floating in the river at 1:45 p.m., according to authorities. The body was found unconscious and unresponsive.
WCBS, citing unnamed police sources, reported that Abdus-Salaam’s husband reported her missing earlier Wednesday.
In 2013, Abdus-Salaam made history as the first African-American woman appointed to the state’s highest court and the first ever female Muslim judge in the country.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who appointed Abdus-Salaam, issued a statement on her death:
Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all.
As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer. 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.
I was proud to appoint her to the state’s highest court and am deeply saddened by her passing.
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 death is under investigation, and the exact cause will be determined by a medical examiner.
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