USC offers ride share safety tips, extra counseling after Samantha Josephson’s death

US student mistook murderer´s car for Uber: police
College student slain after mistaking a car for her Uber ride
Author

03 April, 2019

With her eyes on her phone, University of SC student Samantha Josephson slipped into the back of a shiny black auto without hesitation, thinking it was the Uber she had ordered to drive her home after a night out with friends.

(WACH) People gather for a candlelight vigil at the University of SC for student Samantha Josephson, whose body was found on March 30, 2019.

Josephson's killing and the mystery surrounding her death shocked the campus community she called home for four years and immediately spurred her friends, strangers and university officials to advocate for vigilance when using ride-hailing services. "That would not have allowed someone the means of escape", said Columbia, S.C. Police Chief William Holbrook.

Investigators allege that on early Friday morning, Josephson entered Rowland's black Chevrolet Impala after leaving a local bar, where she'd spent the evening with friends. "Skip" Holbrook told the media: "What we know now is that she had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride and was waiting for that Uber ride to come".

One factor that kept Josephson from escaping her alleged killer's auto was the child locks that were turned on. Police initiated a search, and some 14 hours later, her body was discovered in a field by turkey hunters off a dirt road.

Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, is charged with kidnapping and murder.

Investigators say Josephson's blood was allegedly found in the trunk and interior of Rowland's auto. "I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life", he wrote. Samantha was by herself - she had absolutely no chance.

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Authorities found blood in the trunk and on the passenger seat.

Josephson's father, Seymour Josephson of New Jersey, confirmed his daughter's death Saturday on Facebook.

The suspect attempted to flee on foot after police spotted him driving a vehicle that matched the description of the one Samantha climbed in and asked him to pull over. "They're broken. There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered".

"We encourage people to use ridesharing services or taxicabs so that they don't drive home intoxicated", said Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.

Samantha was majoring in political science, the USC College of Arts and Sciences said. "And I'm just thankful she brought that out of me, too". "Travel in groups and stay together". That way, you can exit the auto at any time without trouble. "Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort".

Funeral arrangements have already been scheduled for Josephson.

"Mayor Dave Fried, B.A. Joy Tozzi and everyone in Robbinsville Township are devastated by the news that the Josephson family of Robbinsville have lost their precious Samantha".


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