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The death of America's first female Muslim judge is now being treated as suspicious

Her body was found washed up on the shore near Harlem at around 1:45pm on 12 April.

Image: Mike Groll

THE DEATH OF Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam is now being treated as suspicious.

The 65-year-old, who was the first Muslim woman to be appointed as a judge in the US, was found dead on the banks of the Hudson River in New York City on 12 April.

Police had initially said that no foul play was suspected in the case, but their tone changed this week after the investigation revealed there is no clear indication of suicide or criminality.

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis told New York Post, “We’re looking at it as a suspicious death at this point.

We haven’t found any clear indications of criminality, but at this point we can’t say for sure. We’re hoping if anyone could shed any light into the hours before her disappearance, it would help us establish what happened.

Police obtained a new video on Tuesday night which shows Abdus-Salaam walking in the direction of the river in her Harlem neighbourhood at about 8pm on 11 April.

Her body was found washed up on the shore near Harlem at around 1:45pm the next day.

‘A pioneer’

As well as being the first Muslim woman to be elected as a judge in the US, Abdus-Salaam, 65, was also the first black woman to be appointed to the New York’s Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.

Judge Found Dead Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam, center, receives applause after her confirmation to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals Source: Mike Groll

Leading city figures such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio led tributes to Abdus-Salaam, with others calling her “a pioneer”, with an “unshakeable moral compass”, who will be “missed deeply”.

Read: America’s first female Muslim judge found dead on New York riverbank>

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