Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam Death Ruled A Suicide
AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam drowned herself, the city medical examiner said Wednesday, confirming early theories that her death was a suicide.

Abdus-Salaam, the first black woman to serve on the New York state’s highest court, was found in the Hudson River body was found in the Hudson River in April.
“There is no apparent injuries to her body. It appears to be noncriminal at this point,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at the time. But police were waiting for the medical examiner to performs an autopsy before ruling the death a suicide. 

Her husband, Rev. Canon Gregory A. Jacobs, initially disputed any indication of suicide.

“Despite the ongoing investigation, some media outlets and others have conjectured that Sheila was the victim of a ‘probable suicide.’ These reports have frequently included unsubstantiated comments concerning my wife’s possible mental and emotional state of mind at the time of her death,” Rev. Canon Gregory A. Jacobs, who serves in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, wrote in a statement at the time. News reports claimed that the prominent judge allegedly suffered from depression.

“Those of us who loved Sheila and knew her well do not believe that these unfounded conclusions have any basis in reality. And in the absence of any conclusive evidence, we believe such speculations to be unwarranted and irresponsible.”

The NYPD closed the investigation on May 3.