The body of the first African American woman judge on the New York Court of Appeals, washed ashore Wednesday on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River, the New York Post reports.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found floating, fully clothed, in the water near uptown Manhattan several hours after she was reported missing from her home in Harlem.
Abdus-Salaam was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2013, having served ten years as a judge on the New York Supreme Court.
“I’m deeply saddened at having lost a dear friend and colleague, and the court has suffered a terrible blow,” former chief judge of the state Court of Appeals Jonathan Lippman told the Post.
“She was a superb jurist and an even more superb human being,” Lippman said. “I knew her for many, many years.”
“It’s just so shocking,” he continued. “She was a very gentle, lovely lady and judge. If you ask anyone about her, people would say only the most wonderful things. That’s why it makes it even more difficult to understand.”
Police are investigating the incident. Sources told the Post there were no obvious signs of trauma or indications of foul play.