The body of the 75-year-old woman was found this past Friday, and police are still unclear as to how and why she died.
Sadie Roberts-Joseph's death was ruled a homicide on Monday (July 15) after her body was discovered in the trunk of her vehicle last week.
Though authorities have been tight-lipped about how Roberts-Joseph's body was discovered, officials are calling her death a homocide.
Roberts-Joseph's body was discovered as the city braced for the possibility of severe flooding from Tropical Storm Barry, which blew into southern Louisiana as a hurricane on Saturday. "Across racial lines, the community can help to build a better Baton Rouge, a better state and a better nation".
In this April 20, 2004 file photo, Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez, D-Morgan City, center covers Gov. Kathleen Blanco, left, as a few drops of rain fall while talking with Sadie Roberts-Joseph, right, before the start of the Stand Up for Children 2004 Rally for Children on the steps of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La.
He said Roberts-Joseph died from "traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation".
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"She's special. She's touched so many people in this community over the years". The Advocate reports this means her airways were physically blocked, cutting off her oxygen supply.
Although she never held public office, Roberts-Joseph ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1996 and for lieutenant governor of Louisiana in 1999, according to the newspaper. She said Roberts-Joseph would come by every day.
Roberts-Joseph was the curator of the African American museum and had recently organized its annual Juneteenth festival celebrating the date of June 19, 1865, when those enslaved in Texas were finally freed.
Beatrice Johnson, one of Roberts-Joseph's 11 siblings, lives two doors down from her sister's home on a quiet street in Baton Rouge.
"Her passion for humanity, for civil rights, for education, for cultural awareness spoke volumes and she was recognized throughout this community for her love for the community and for her activism", Broome said. Broome moreover acknowledged that the local Crime Stoppers unit will provide a $5,000 reward for anybody who calls with info that will lead to an arrest.