Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman to sit on the New York State Court of Appeals, committed suicide in April by drowning herself in the Hudson River, the city medical examiner ruled Wednesday.
The married 65-year-old jurist, who lived in Manhattan, was found dead on April 12 in the river near West 132nd Street.
While police said there had been some bruising on her body, investigators believed it was caused by the process of extricating her from the river. Police initially suspected her death might have been a suicide but waited for the final autopsy results to be completed.
Abdus- Salaam had reportedly been depressed about the impending anniversary of the death of some relatives and her staff called police when she didn’t show up for work.
A review of surveillance cameras showed Abdus-Salaam walking alone in Manhattan the night of April 10.
The cameras depicted the judge walking on the Upper West Side and last captured her image in the vicinity of River Bank State Park.
Police said her body was fully clothed and apart from the bruising, showed no signs of foul play.