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March 31, 2019

New Jersey woman kidnapped, murdered at USC by stranger posing as Uber driver

Samantha Josephson, 21, was a USC student headed to Drexel for law school

Crime Homicide
0331StephanieJosephsonUSCUber Photo courtesy/Columbus Police Department

Police said Samantha Josephson was kidnapped and murdered by someone posing as an Uber driver in Columbus, South Carolina on Friday. Josephson is a New Jersey native and was headed to Drexel to be a law student.

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. 

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.”

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