Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a 65-year-old associate judge of New York's highest court, was found floating off Manhattan's west side at about 1:45 p.m. EDT (1745 GMT) on the 12th of April, a police spokesman said.
Abdus-Salaam, a native of Washington, D.C., became the first African-American woman appointed to the Court of Appeals when Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo named her to the state's high court in 2013.
The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History said Abdus-Salaam was the first female Muslim to serve as a U.S. judge.
Citing unidentified sources, the New York Post reported that Abdus-Salaam had been reported missing from her New York home earlier on Wednesday. Attempts to reach her family were unsuccessful.
A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School, Abdus-Salaam started her law career with East Brooklyn Legal Services and served as a New York state assistant attorney general, according to the Court of Appeals website
She held a series of judicial posts after being elected to a New York City judgeship in 1991.
(Story Ian Simpson/Reuters)