Missing College Student Found Dead After Taking Wrong Car

Police in Columbia, South Carolina, announced that they had found the body of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, a student at the University of South Carolina who had last been seen getting into a car very early Friday, March 29.

Investigators believe she mistook the car for her Uber. USC’s student paper, the Daily Gamecock, reported that Josephson’s Uber driver canceled the ride when she did not appear at the pickup point. Police also announced that they arrested a man on murder and kidnapping charges in relation to Josephson’s death.

According to police, Josephson’s body was found by hunters in a wooded area near the suspect’s former home. Nathaniel D. Rowland, 24, was arrested after police searched his vehicle and found blood in the car — which was the same make and model Josephson was seen getting into on Friday morning.

USC President Harris Pastides released a statement announcing Josephson’s death on Saturday after her body was discovered.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write these words this morning. Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death,” Pastides wrote. “Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort. However, I take solace that the Carolina Family is here to embrace those who are hurting.”

Josephson’s father also published a statement to his Facebook page, writing that it was with “tremendous sadness and of a broken heart that” he confirmed the death of his daughter.

“I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life,” Seymour Josephson wrote. “Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten. It is extremely hard to write this and post it but I love her with all my heart. I could continue to write about her but it kills me. I sit here and cry while looking at the picture and write this.”

On Monday, authorities announced that Josephson’s autopsy determined that she died from multiple sharp injuries, according to ABC News. A murder weapon has not been identified. Law enforcement also revealed that Josephson’s phone was found inside Rowland’s vehicle.

During a Sunday vigil for Josephson, her father pleaded to other young people to use caution when taking ride shares. “Samantha was by herself. She had absolutely no chance,” Seymour Josephson said. “You guys have to travel together … You get into an Uber, you don’t know if it’s an Uber, you don’t know anything about it.”

Rowland did not appear at his bond hearing on Monday. Samantha Josephson’s funeral will be held on Wednesday in New Jersey.

This post has been updated throughout.

Missing College Student Found Dead After Taking Wrong Car