Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a black jurist who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a judge in the United States and the first African-American female to serve on New York’s highest court, has been found dead in New York’s Hudson river.
The body of the 65-year-old Muslim judge was found on Wednesday floating off Harlem, just a mile from her home, according to a police spokesman.
She was pronounced dead at the scene after police pulled her fully clothed body from the water.
Police called the late judge’s husband to identify her a day after she was reported missing.
Officials said the body showed no signs of apparent trauma or injuries and an autopsy would determine the cause of death.
Abdus-Salaam, as a Muslim, made history in 2013 when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated her to serve on the state Court of Appeals.
“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,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The possibility of a hate crime has not been ruled out by police.
The incident comes months after a Muslim imam and his assistant were killed near a mosque in the New York City borough of Queens.