African-American history museum founder Sadie Roberts-Joseph found dead in trunk

A community leader and founder of an African-American Museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was found dead in the trunk of a car Friday afternoon.

WAFB reported that Baton Rouge Police Department officials said Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, was found around 3:45 p.m. Officials would not say how she was discovered, but the vehicle was about three miles from her home.

WBRZ reported that in 2001, Roberts-Joseph helped found the Odell S. Williams Now & Then Museum of African-American History. She remained the organizer of the city's Juneteenth celebration for years.

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"The Baton Rouge Police Department joins the community in mourning the loss of Ms. Sadie Roberts-Joseph," the department said in a Saturday Facebook post. "Ms. Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace in the community. We had opportunities to work with her on so many levels. From assisting with her bicycle give away at the African American Museum to working with the organization she started called CADAV. (Community Against Drugs and Violence) 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 investigating Roberts-Joseph's death as the community mourns.

"We lost a Cultural Legend Yesterday," the NAACP Baton Rouge Branch said in a Facebook post. "From reviving Juneteenth, to the Culture preserved at Her Museum, she was a trendsetter and icon in this City".

Rep. C. Denise Marcelle reflected on the loss in a Saturday morning Facebook post.

"My heart is empty... as I learned last night that Ms. Sadie Roberts Joseph was found murdered! This woman was amazing and loved her history," she wrote. "She never bothered anyone, just wanted to expand her African American Museum downtown, where she continually hosted the Juneteenth Celebration yearly. I loved working with her and am saddened by her death.... whoever knows what happened to her, please contact the authorities and say something. RIP my friend!!!"

"We ask that anyone who has information related to this case please call our detectives at 225-389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867)," the department said.

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