Medical Examiner: Judge Drowned Herself

'It's an incredibly sad situation'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2017 1:31 AM CDT
Updated Jul 27, 2017 6:03 AM CDT
Medical Examiner: Judge Drowned Herself
In this June 1, 2016 file photo, Associate Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam speaks during oral arguments at the Court of Appeals in Albany, NY.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

The death of the first black woman to sit on New York state's highest court is sad but not suspicious, according to the New York City medical examiner's office. Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found dead in the Hudson River on April 12 in what the examiner's office ruled Wednesday was suicide by drowning, Pix 11 reports. Police trying to retrace the 65-year-old judge's final hours found security video of her walking alone in Riverbank State Park for hours before standing by the river's edge soon after midnight. Her body was found floating in the river around 13 hours later.

Investigators found bruises on the neck of the judge's fully clothed body, and her husband, the Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs, rejected early suggestions that she had killed herself. Investigators said it was possible that the bruises were caused when the body was retrieved from the water. An autopsy found water in the judge's lungs, indicating that she was alive when she went into the water, the New York Times reports. "It's an incredibly sad situation," Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, tells USA Today. "The legal community and our entire city are very much reeling from the loss." (More Sheila Abdus-Salaam stories.)

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