Louisiana coroner: Museum founder was suffocated to death

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Louisiana coroner: Museum founder was suffocated to death
FILE - 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. Sadie Roberts-Joseph, who founded an African American history museum was discovered dead in the trunk of a car, and police said Saturday, July 13, 2019 that investigators were working diligently to find those responsible.(Arthur D. Lauck/The Advocate via AP, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana coroner has ruled the death of a 75-year-old woman who founded Baton Rouge’s African American history museum a homicide by suffocation.

East Baton Rouge Coroner Beau Clark released preliminary autopsy results Monday that show Sadie Roberts-Joseph was suffocated to death before her body was found in the trunk of a car Friday.

He said Roberts-Joseph died from “traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation.” The Advocate reports this means her airways were physically blocked, cutting off her oxygen supply.

The paper reports that Roberts-Joseph founded the Baton Rouge African American Museum in 2001.

Shortly after announcing the discovery of Roberts-Joseph’s body, the Baton Rouge Police Department posted that “Ms. Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace,” and added that investigators were working to identify a suspect.