Thieves ransack home of African-American museum's murdered founder
BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge Police are searching for thieves who broke into the home of murdered icon Sadie Roberts-Joseph.
Inside, they stole a 60-inch television and a laptop, broke figurines, and ransacked the place.
Her son, Jason Roberts, made the discovery Wednesday when he showed up at his mother's house to check the mail. Since her murder in July, Roberts says he's been going a few times a week. His aunt lives on his mother's street along with other family members who have also been checking on the house.
"We've never had this problem before," Roberts said.
Roberts-Joseph moved into the home in 1998 and had a good relationship with all of her neighbors he recalled. He fought back a flood of emotions just thinking about someone violating the only sacred place his family had left to remember her fondly.
"The feelings are indescribable," Roberts said. "To know she gave her heart to the city, and the city ended up taking her life... It makes you wonder what more she needs to give. This should have been the last place someone thought to violate, and it just crushes us to know someone came through her place."
Roberts-Joseph founded the Odell S. Williams African American Museum in 2001. She was a fixture in the community attending various citywide events. She always promoted education and loved giving back. In July, she was found in the trunk of her car, strangled. Investigators arrested Ronn Bell in connection with her death. They said he was behind on rent owed to Roberts-Joseph.
"For someone who gave so much, what more do you have to take from her?" Roberts asked. "I just want to know when is it enough?"
Her son had a message for the people who stole from his murdered mother.
"You don't just get to take and take, especially when someone gives so much," Roberts said. "There has to be a point where you learn to respect something, somebody. I can't think of no better person to respect than my mother for what she gave to the city. What more do you want from her?"
Baton Rouge Police said they are actively working this case and are looking for those responsible. Anyone with information is urged to contact them.