Murder of SC college student raises awareness for rideshare safety

Left to right Nathaniel David Rowland and Samantha Josephson

Left to right Nathaniel David Rowland and Samantha Josephson

Nathaniel David Rowland has been charged with murdering and kidnapping 21-year-old Samantha Josephson. "We believe that she simply mistakenly got into this particular auto thinking it was an Uber ride", said Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook.

After 1 a.m. Friday: She was last seen by her friends near the 700 block of Harden Street. When a black vehicle pulls up to a parking spot, she takes several steps toward the auto, opens the back right door, and gets inside, the video shows.

Samantha Josephson was reported missing after last being seen Friday about 2 a.m., getting into a vehicle outside a bar in the city's 5 Points area, WLTX reported.

Josephson hopped into a black Chevy Impala, thinking it was her ride and about 14 hours later turkey hunters found her body in a field in Clarendon County, about 90 miles from Columbia, he said.

Josephson had been out Thursday night in downtown Columbia's Five Points district, a popular nightlife hub just down the street from the University of SC campus. Match the auto description and license plate with the information in the app, the message said, and always ask the driver the name of the person they are supposed to be picking up before climbing inside.

Investigators say Josephson's blood and cell phone were found in Rowland's auto and that the child safety locks had been activated making it hard for anyone to open the vehicle's doors from the inside.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday at Congregation Beth Chaim in New Jersey, according to Josephson's Facebook page. Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said at a news conference that 24-year-old Rowland was detained early Saturday, March 30, 2019, and that blood was found in his vehicle.

Uber Technologies Inc. launched a public awareness campaign in July 2017 regarding Uber scams and how riders can avoid getting into the wrong vehicle, suggesting that they check the app to make sure that the auto matches the one that they ordered. The chief says her cellphone was also found in the vehicle.

AAF suspends operations after just 8 weeks
The news comes a few weeks after the league was bailed out by a $ 250 million investment by Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon . Shortly after Dundon's financial involvement, the AAF scoffed at the idea that the money was needed to keep the league alive.

Rowland, 24 waived his right to a scheduled court appearance Sunday, according to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson.

"Samantha was by herself", Josephson said on Sunday.

Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten, ' wrote Seymour Josephson, a sales manager with a technology company.

The university on Saturday confirmed the death of the student. "Words really can't describe what they are going through".

"I assured them we will be with them for every step of the way until this is done", Holbrook said.

Josephson had been preparing to attend Temple law school, after her planned graduation.

"I see that even in the short time that she was here, how many people she positively impacted with her energy", Corbishley said.

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