She was only a year away from entering law school. Her friends say she lit up a room when she entered. Young, beautiful, smart, and very in-love with life, Samantha Josephson, 21, was found dead Saturday morning, 3/30/2019 70 miles southeast of Columbia, S.C. in New Zion. All the University of S. C. student did wrong, was to mistakenly get into the wrong car. She had been out with close friends on Friday night, in the Five Points area of Columbia, when she decided to call an Uber driver. The last security footage of her last moments is so upsetting watching her get into the car, thinking it was her Uber ride.
Josephson was apparently, according to friends’ accounts, attempting to locate an Uber car she had ordered when she entered Rowland’s black Chevrolet Impala about 2 a.m. Friday.
Officers said that at about 1:30 pm on March 29, Columbia Police Department officers responded to the victim’s roommates’ apartment after the victim had not come home from Five Points the following night.
Around the same time that Columbia PD put out their missing persons alert, Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a body found in a wooded area, by local hunters in a rural part of the county Friday. Josephson had numerous wounds to her head, neck, face, upper body, leg, and foot, according to arrest warrants released Sunday by the State Law Enforcement Division.
Columbia police chief William Holbrook said hours later, around 3 a.m. Saturday, a canine officer observed the suspect’s black Impala in Five Points.
Officers then conducted a traffic stop and asked the suspect to get out of the car.
Police on scene observed what appeared to be a large pool of blood in the car, calling in the same forensic team working in Clarendon County to continue the investigation.
Columbia Police Department immediately called SLED and forensic investigators to respond to the scene.
The suspect was identified as Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, and faces murder and kidnapping charges.
A Columbia judge denied bond on Sunday afternoon for Nathaniel David Rowland on one count of murder and one count of kidnapping.
What you need to know before calling an Uber.
- Get a complete description of the car from Uber: MAKE, MODEL, COLOR!
- Before entering the vehicle, walk around back and check the tag number that is supplied by UBER.
- Before entering the vehicle, ask who the driver is there to pick up. You will hear your name if it is the correct driver.
- If possible, never take a lift alone. If you do, give the information to a friend.
- Never travel alone in a lift if you have been drinking….this may cause you to misjudge or not be alert.
Dozens came to a field on the campus of the University of South Carolina Sunday to honor Samantha Josephson, the student who was kidnapped and killed Friday.
Several members of her family, including her mother, father, and sister were there, as were her friends from college.
“We loved Sami, and this is the hardest thing, but it’s important that we all do this together,” one of her friends said.
Samantha was graduating in May and was headed to law school at Drexel University in Philadelphia in the fall.
Many speakers couldn’t hold back the tears as they spoke. Samantha’s boyfriend told the group at the vigil that she was a force of good. He said they’d known each other for four years and were planning a life together.
“She truly was the love of my life,” he said. “I saw such a clear future with her. I thought I had my future so perfectly planned out.”
Her father, Seymour Josephson, spoke about her use of Uber, and how she mistakenly got into what she thought was her ride. He said he wants everyone to make sure they use good safety and plans to urge Uber and Lyft to do more to educate their riders about precautions.
“I don’t want anyone else to ever go through this again,” he said. “I can’t tell you how painful this is.”
Ref. WLTX19.com, foxcarolina.com, NBC/Today
Photo courtesy of Bing via thecount.com