BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An icon of the Baton Rouge community was found dead in the trunk of a car Friday afternoon. An autopsy to determine the cause of death for Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, was performed Monday, July 15 and revealed she died from traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation.
According to officials with the Baton Rouge Police Department, Roberts-Joseph found at roughly 3:45 p.m. on Friday, July 12. Joseph is the founder of non-profit, Odell S. Williams Now & Then Museum of African American History.
On Tuesday, July 16, an arrest was made in the case.
Ronn Jermaine Bell has been charged with first degree murder in connection with Roberts-Joseph’s death. It’s believed Bell was one of Roberts-Joseph’s tenants and was behind about $1,200 in rent.
East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome expressed her condolences Sunday with a post published on Instagram.
The car was found in the 2300 block of N 20th Street, which is located off I-110 near Choctaw.
BRPD commented on its Facebook page about Roberts-Joseph:
“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 giveaway 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.”
Preserve Louisiana also released a statement on Roberts-Joseph’s death. She received an award from the organization in 2008.
Roberts-Joseph’s home is located on Kaufman Street, which is roughly three and a half miles from where her body was found.