Louisiana coroner: Baton Rouge civil rights leader founder in trunk of car was suffocated to death

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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.

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