March 31, 2019
The 21-year-old woman from New Jersey that went missing early Friday from the University of South Carolina was kidnapped and killed after mistaking a stranger's car for an Uber.
The Columbus Police Department announced on Saturday in a press conference that Samantha Josephson, of Mercer County, New Jersey, went missing on Friday around 2 a.m. in South Carolina. Her body was found Friday afternoon 90 miles from Columbus.
Josephson was a senior at the University of South Carolina studying political science and headed to Drexel University next fall to study law, The State reported.
On Friday around 2 a.m. Josephson allegedly requested a car via a ride share app in downtown Columbus after being separated from her roommates. Police said she was last seen getting in to a black Chevrolet Impala, however it was not the correct car she had called through the ride-sharing app.
In speaking w/Josephson's parents, Chief Holbrook said during the news conference, "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." pic.twitter.com/ssTKx77l45— Columbia Police Dept (@ColumbiaPDSC) March 30, 2019
The investigation regarding USC student Samantha Josephson is now a homicide case. Her body was found by hunters in rural Clarendon Co. late yesterday afternoon. Suspect Nathaniel Rowland has been charged w/ Murder & Kidnapping by SLED. Agents have been an integral part in case. pic.twitter.com/2tj8TVRAex— Columbia Police Dept (@ColumbiaPDSC) March 30, 2019
According to police, the driver of the vehicle and now a suspect, Nathaniel Rowland, 24, has been charged with her kidnapping and murder.
USC confirmed her death on Saturday to the university community. President Harris Pastides released a statement saying, “Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort.”