Cause Of Death Revealed In Murder Of Baton Rouge Black Museum Founder Sadie Roberts-Joseph
An arrest has also reportedly been made.
July 14, 2019 at 3:23 pm
Update 7/16: Autopsy results have been released in Sadie Roberts-Joseph's death, revealing she died from traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner. Her death has been ruled a homicide.
Police have yet to release the name of suspects responsible for Roberts-Joseph's death but a source tells WAFB an arrest has been made in the case.
There is a vigil scheduled in her honor being held on Tuesday at her museum.
Original: Authorities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are investigating the death of prominent community figure Sadie Roberts-Joseph after the activist was found dead in a car trunk.
According to CNN, the 75-year-old's body was located about three miles from her home inside the trunk of a car on Friday. Police have yet to release what led them to the car during their investigation.
"Our detectives are working diligently to bring the person or persons responsible for this heinous act to justice," the agency said.
However, at this time, police do not know the cause of her death.
Over the past two decades, Roberts-Joseph has become a staple in the community for her dedication to preserving Black history. In 2001, she founded the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum. The activist also launched the non-profit Community Against Drugs and Violence to provide a space to help young people. Additionally, her work included hosting annual Juneteenth celebrations in Baton Rouge since 1991.
The Advocate reports the activist went over to her sister's home on Friday. Beatrice Johnson, one of Roberts-Joseph's 11 siblings, told The Advocate her sister was trying to use her stove to cook cornbread.
"She would come by here every day," Johnson told the outlet. "Friday, she came by [because] she had mixed some cornbread, but her oven went out, and she brought it here to put in the oven … She never came back to get it."
The community will miss her. In addition to her years of advocacy work, Roberts-Johnson ran for U.S. Senate in 1996 and for lieutenant governor in 1999. Both bids were unsuccessful.
"Ms. Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace in the community," the police department said in a statement. "Ms. Sadie is a treasure to our community, she will be missed by BRPD and her loss will be felt in the community she served."
Police are urging community members with any information to get in contact detectives at 225-389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).