Rev. Jacobs rejects suggestion Sheila Abdus-Salaam committed suicide
The husband of the U.S.'s first Muslim female judge on Wednesday urged the public for help in unraveling the mystery of Sheila Abdus-Salaam's death.
Abdus-Salaam, 65, was found dead last Wednesday in the Hudson River in New York City.
Police said at the time her death was treated as a suicide, but announced Tuesday that it was being investigated as "suspicious".
"Despite the ongoing investigation, some media outlets and others have conjectured that Sheila was the victim of a 'probable suicide,'" widower Rev. Gregory Jacobs said in a statement.
"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 told reporters April 13 there were no signs of trauma or injury on Abdus-Salaam's body that might indicate criminality.
On April 18, police said there were no signs of homicide or suicide, reclassifying her death as suspicious.
Abdus-Salaam was appointed to New York Court of Appeals in 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo who, said she was a “force for good” as he extended his condolences to her family.
"Judge 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.
"As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer. Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come.”