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Daily Trends Now

Samantha Josephson: father of murdered student vows to improve ridesharing safety

Samantha Josephson: father of murdered student vows to improve ridesharing safety

Samantha Josephson, 21, vanished on Friday morning after a night out with pals in Columbia, South Carolina.

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.

"She had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride", Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said, according to USA Today.

Samantha Josephson, 21, was found dead along a rural road less than 24 hours after surveillance video captured her getting into the back seat of a black vehicle, apparently believing the auto was the Uber she had ordered to get her home from a bar early Friday morning.

Police arrested a man Saturday in connection with the death of a college student who apparently got into the suspect's vehicle thinking it was her Uber ride.

Police arrived at the home where Josephson and her roommates lived that day. Turkey hunters found her body 14 hours later in the field in Clarendon County, about 90 miles away.

According to an arrest warrant for the suspect, 24-year-old Nathaniel Rowland, Josephson had "numerous wounds evident on multiple parts of her body to include her head, neck, face, upper body, leg, and foot". Investigators found blood in the passenger area and trunk of the auto that was later determined to be Josephson's, police said.

Josephson's time at the University of SC was winding down and she spent another night with friends in Five Points.

He wrote: "I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of my life".

Chillingly, it appears the driver slowed down to let Samantha in, despite not being the Uber she had booked. PEOPLE spoke with automotive expert Lauren Fix, who is also known as The Car Coach, about precautions people using ride sharing apps should take. "Samantha Josephson. My daughter's name is Samantha Josephson".

Both Lyft and Uber will tell you what kind of vehicle is picking you up, as well as the name of the driver and their license plates.

Investigators have not said what weapon was used to kill Josephson. "There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered", the chief said.

"You definitely get in a vehicle sometimes and have that icky feeling, like maybe this isn't the right place for me to be right now", Joanna Lee said. "It was gut-wrenching; words really can't describe what they're going through". "She was one of the brightest young stars", McMaster wrote.

"Our prayers are with Samantha's family & friends, & we join the entire Carolina Family in this time of grief", the college's tweet said.

"What we learned is...you guys have to travel together", he added. "Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort".

Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin said "nothing mitigates the pain of the loss of a child but I have full faith & confidence in the men & women of the Columbia Police Department & SLED as they ably investigate this tragedy". Robbinsville Township also released a statement on Facebook about Josephson.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday in Princeton Junction.


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