Sheila Abdus-Salaam US judge found dead in New York's Hudson River

CNN reported the medical examiner will determine Abdus-Salaam's cause of death.

"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", said Gov. Cuomo.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, became the first African-American female appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2013, serving for four years on the state's top court before she was discovered on the Manhattan side of the river Wednesday afternoon.

He added that, "As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the state's court of appeal, she was a pioneer".

She was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Cuomo in 2013.

A graduate of New York's Columbia Law School, she started her legal career working for low-income people in Brooklyn and later served as a NY state assistant attorney general.

"My deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a pioneering jurist who started her distinguished career in Brooklyn", said Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

In 2013, following the death of Theodore T. Jones, Abdus-Salaam was nominated by the NY governor to sit on the Appeal Court, which again made her the first Black woman to serve on New York's highest court.

"She will be fondly remembered and deeply missed", Edgar continued.

"Her personal warmth, uncompromising sense of fairness and bright legal mind were an inspiration to all of us who had the good fortune to know her", DiFiore said.

Robert Boyce, chief of detectives for the NY police, told reporters that there were no apparent injuries to Abdus-Salaam's body and that her death does not appear to be criminal in nature.

Abdus-Salaam's husband has been talking with detectives. She had been reported missing earlier in the day when family members were unable to locate her.

Jonathan Lippman, the Chief Judge of the Court Appeals from 2009 to 2015, told the Post, "I'm deeply saddened at having lost a dear friend and colleague, and the court has suffered a awful blow". She was elected to a New York City judgeship in 1991, and held a series of judicial posts afterwards.

Abdus-Salaam grew up in Washington as one of seven children.

  • Joanne Flowers