Samantha Josephson was a 21-year-old college student at the University of South Carolina. She had a bright future ahead of her and was looking forward to going to law school at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Last Friday, that future was taken from her. Samantha had been enjoying a night out with friends when she got disconnected from her group in Columbia’s Five Points bar district. She decided to call an Uber to take her home. She then entered a dark car that she had mistaken for the ride she’d called for. It was after getting into that vehicle that she was murdered, according to The Guardian.
Samantha’s roommates became concerned the next morning when they realized that she’d never returned home. They called the police who began an investigation and later located her body in a secluded wooded area. Police were able to identify the kind of car Josephson had gotten into and when an officer spotted one that looked similar on Saturday, he stopped the vehicle.
The suspect tried to escape on foot but was captured and identified as 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland. Rowland has since been charged with kidnapping and murder, according to CNN. Rowland’s car was later inspected and large amounts of blood were found in the interior. Samantha’s cell phone was also in the vehicle.
The victim left behind a heartbroken family determined to ensure that what happened to Samantha doesn’t happen to anyone else. Her father, Seymour Josephson, has vowed to dedicate the duration of his life to warning others about the dangers of rideshare programs and increasing the safety of companies such as Uber. Seymour wants to encourage those who take advantage of rideshare companies to travel in a group. You never know who you will be getting in a car with.
“Samantha was by herself. She had absolutely no chance. None. The door was locked, the child safety locks were on. She had absolutely no chance. If there is somebody else in that car, there is actually a chance.”
Samantha’s mother, Marci Josephson, wants her daughter to be remembered as the bright light that she was to all those in her life. She spoke of her daughter’s alleged murderer and the differences between him and her daughter.
“Unlike him, Samantha valued human life, and could never harm another soul. Unlike him, Samantha had love within her heart, and a purpose in her life, the life he brutally ended.”