'She Thought He Was An Uber Driver': Student Murdered After Getting Into The Wrong Car

Samantha Josephson's father posted on Facebook that his daughter “is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten.”

April 01, 2019

Photo by: Samantha Josephson [Columbia Police Department]

Samantha Josephson [Columbia Police Department]

By: Catherine Townsend

COLUMBIA, SC — A 24-year-old man has been charged in connection with the murder of the University of South Carolina student who police say got into his car after mistaking him for an Uber driver.

Investigators say 21-year-old Samantha Josephson got into a black Chevy Impala at around 2 A.M. on Friday in the 5 points section of Columbia. The driver was Nathaniel David Rowland, ABC 7 reported.

"We believe she may have mistakenly gotten into the Impala thinking it was an Uber ride," Columbia Police Chief William "Skip" Holbrook told the news station.

The next day, her roommate reported Josephson, a senior political science major from New Jersey who had been admitted to the Kline School of Law at Drexel University, missing. Josephson's college professor Daniella Jaimes said that Josephson dreamed of having a career in international law.

Police launched a manhunt in surrounding areas. Josephson’s body was found by turkey hunters in rural Clarendon County late yesterday afternoon.

Police apprehended Rowland on Saturday. Inside the vehicle, authorities say they found the victim's blood in the trunk and passenger compartment. They also reportedly found her cell phone, along with bleach and germicidal wipes.

Investigators have revealed that the child-safety locks appeared to be engaged, which could have prevented a passenger riding in the back of the car from exiting the vehicle.

Photo by: Mug shot of Nathaniel Rowland [Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center]

Mug shot of Nathaniel Rowland [Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center]

"Our hearts are broken. There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered. It was gut-wrenching. This is personal to us," Holbrook said at a press conference.

Josephson's father posted on Facebook that his daughter "is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten."

Rowland is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. In addition to the murder and kidnapping charges, he has also been charged with failure to stop on police command and possession of less than an ounce of drugs.

Read more: ABC 7

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