Founder of Louisiana African American museum found dead in trunk of car

The founder of a Louisiana African American museum was found dead in the trunk of her car late last week.

Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, was the founder of the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American History Museum in Baton Rouge, according to The Advocate.


Now known simply as the Baton Rouge African American History Museum, it was founded in 2001 by Roberts-Joseph to educate the community and surrounding area on African American heritage and culture. 

Baton Rouge police said they did not yet identify a cause of death but implored those with any information regarding Roberts-Joseph’s death to reach out to the department.

"Our detectives are working diligently to bring the person or persons responsible for this heinous act to justice," the department wrote in a Facebook post Saturday.

Police described Roberts-Joseph as a “tireless advocate of peace in the community.”

News of her death prompted an outpouring of support over the weekend, with Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome saying the community would be grieving together and offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Her body was found Friday in a car roughly three miles from her home.

State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle (D) wrote in a Facebook post that her “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 never bothered anyone, just wanted to expand her African American Museum downtown,” she wrote.