Reports of the tragic death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first female Muslim judge appointed to a court in the United States, were met with skepticism after police claimed there was no foul play involved in the esteemed legal expert's suicide. Now, police seem to be reconsidering this a bit, with law enforcement recently describing the situation as "suspicious."
Abdus-Salaam's body was found in the Hudson River shortly after she had gone missing. The death was immediately deemed a suicide, and no foul play was suspected. And although police are still considering the incident as non-criminal, some are now saying the circumstances surrounding the story are “suspicious.” The body showed no signs of trauma or obvious wrongdoing; however, a lack of convlusive evidence has created a need for further investigation.
“We have a middle-aged woman deceased in the water with all her clothes on with no signs of homicide or suicide," said Sgt. Brendan Ryan.
“When a body is found floating in a river, it is deemed suspicious in nature," he added.
It's unclear if Abdus-Salaam had any history of mental illness, but those close to her had noted that she had mentioned dealing with stress in recent conversations. Two of Abdus-Salaam's family members had killed themselves around Easter in recent years.
Her husband, Rev. Gregory Jacobs, is less convinced by the narratives the police are putting forward: "These reports have frequently included unsubstantiated comments concerning my wife's possible mental and emotional state of mind at the time of her death," he said. "Those of us who loved Sheila and knew her well do not believe that these unfounded conclusions have any basis in reality."
Police are now asking for anyone with information to come forward:
Al Jazeera reports that autopsy results were inconclusive. Police are still attempting to figure out the exact means by which Abdus-Salaam died.