Police did not reveal it was the body of the influential woman until the next morning, Saturday, when shockwaves started rolling through Baton Rouge just as tropical storm then hurricane Barry started sliding onto Louisiana's coast.
The body of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, was located Friday but it wasn't immediately clear what led officers to the vehicle.
The Baton Rouge Police Department stated on Friday evening they did not know what caused Roberts-Joseph's death. The auto, which has also not been identified, was discovered about three miles from Roberts-Joseph's home.
In a recent interview with ABC affiliate station WBRZ in Baton Rouge, Roberts-Joseph said her work at the museum and the annual Juneteenth event was meant "to celebrate, to embace" African American history and to "learn of our past and to be able to move forward in unity". "The development of The Odell S. Williams African American Museum is a testament of her visionary and pioneering leadership".
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Trump also defended his weekend tweets , where he said the four first-term minority congresswomen, known informally in the U.S. Congress as "the squad", should "go back " to the "the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came".
"Ms. Sadie is a treasure to our community".
She also founded Community Against Drugs and Violence, a non-profit organization focused in creating a safer environment for children in North Baton Rouge.
"We have to be educated about our history and other people's history", she told The Advocate newspaper in 2016.
Roberts-Joseph was a respected civil rights leader in Baton Rouge.
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He said he had not defended the ambassador more because he did not think civil servants should be dragged into political disputes. Sir Kim quit on Wednesday, saying that the disclosures had made it "impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like".
Police say that they are working "diligently" to find whoever is responsible. She said Roberts-Joseph would come by every day.
"From reviving Juneteenth, to the Culture preserved at Her Museum, she was a trendsetter and icon in this City", said the NAACP.
Beatrice Johnson, one of Roberts-Joseph's 11 siblings, lives two doors down from her sister's home on a quiet street in Baton Rouge. The museum, now known as the Baton Rouge African-American History Museum, is housed on the campus of New St. Luke Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. They are asking for anyone with information on her death to come forward.
"The bread is still there", Johnson said, "She never came back to get it".
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Reagan, a Republican, said that if the USA ever closed its doors to immigrants, "our leadership in the world would soon be lost". But Republican Congressman Andy Harris had earlier defended Mr Trump, telling WBAL radio: "Clearly it's not a racist comment".