(JTA) — The body of a missing University of South Carolina student was found in a wooded area about 90 miles from Columbia, S.C., where she mistakenly got into a car that she thought was her Uber ride.
Samantha Josephson, 21, of Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, was last seen at about 2 a.m. on Friday when she got into a black Chevy Impala, thinking it was the Uber she had called. Her body was found in Clarendon County on Friday afternoon, about three hours after her roommates called police because she never returned home.
#CPDSCInvestigates | Missing Person Alert: 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was last seen by friends at 715 Harden St. b/w 1:30 & 2:00 this morning. Loved ones have not been able to make contact with her since. They’re worried about her well-being & safety. pic.twitter.com/PITpUh1eUh— Columbia Police Dept (@ColumbiaPDSC) March 30, 2019
Nathaniel D. Rowland, 24, was arrested on Saturday in connection with the killing, after police stopped a car early in the morning matching the description of the vehicle that had Josephson entered the previous day. Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said Saturday during a news conference that the student’s blood was found inside the car and its trunk, and that her cell phone was found in the car. Investigators also found a container of liquid bleach, germicidal wipes and window cleaner in the vehicle, Holbrook told reporters, CNN reported.
Rowland attempted to flee after his car was stopped. He was charged with murder and kidnapping.
Josephson’s disappearance and the discovery of her body drew national attention, according to the New York Times.
“Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death,” Harris Pastides, president of the university, said in a statement. “Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort.”
Josephson was a senior political science major in the USC College of Arts and Sciences, and had already been accepted to at least two law schools.
Her father, Seymour Josephson, mourned her death in a post on Facebook: “It is with tremendous sadness and of a broken heart that I post this! I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life. Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be for gotten,” he wrote in part.