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Videos show Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam before her death, NYPD says

Police are asking for information from anyone who

Police are asking for information from anyone who saw Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam before her body was found on April 12, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Hans Pennink

Detectives have found video surveillance of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam walking alone the evening before her body was found in the Hudson River, police said Wednesday.

In the videos, which have not been released, Abdus-Salaam is seen walking between West 131st and 141st streets, police said. There is also some footage of her near the river, they said. The footage was captured between 8 p.m. and shortly after midnight, they said.

The judge’s body was found on April 12 in the water near West 132nd Street at about 1:45 p.m.

One of the videos, with a time stamp of about 12:45 a.m. on April 12, showed Abdus-Salaam at the Riverbank State Park by 141st Street, 10 blocks north of where she lived, a law enforcement official said. The earliest video in the sequence was taken at about 8 p.m. on the night of April 11 and showed her walking west around 131st Street, near her home, added the official.

Police were still looking for additional video and late Wednesday were planning to canvass Upper West Side areas where the images were taken, the official explained. The NYPD had put out a public call for information on Tuesday, hoping to find out more about where Abdus-Salaam, 65, was before her death.

The medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of Abdus-Salaam’s death, so investigators are still looking at all possibilities, police said. There are no indications of criminality at this point, and her death is still being considered a possible suicide, they said.

Deputy Commissioner Steven Davis called the judge’s death “suspicious” in multiple statements, but the NYPD clarified Wednesday morning that “when a body is found floating in a river it is deemed suspicious in nature.”

Abdus-Salaam, who was the first African-American woman to serve on the state Court of Appeals, was reported missing by her husband on April 12 before her body was found. Her last known contact was with her assistant the day before, police said.

She was seen in the video surveillance wearing a gray sweatshirt with “Canada” in red letters across the chest, black sweatpants and white sneakers, the same clothes her body was found in, police said.


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