A 21-year-old University of South Carolina college student was found dead on Friday after getting into a car she mistakenly thought was her Uber on Friday morning at approximately 2:00 a.m.
Wesh 2 reports that Samantha Josephson ordered an Uber early Friday morning after being separated from her friends during a night out. Josephson hopped into the back seat of a Chevrolet Impala outside a bar believing it was her ride. This was recorded by a security camera – and it was the last time she was seen alive.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Friday last week, turkey hunters in a field in Clarendon County approximately 65 miles southeast of Columbia, called police saying they had found a body. Police soon arrived and confirmed it was Josephson.
The following day, at roughly 3:00 a.m., K-9 officers made a routine traffic stop while searching for the suspect’s vehicle. After asking the driver to step out of the vehicle, the suspect fled on foot. He was identified as 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland and arrested on charges of kidnapping and murder after Josephson’s blood, as well as her cellphone, were found in the Impala.
“I met with the family and our hearts are broken. Nothing is tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered,” police said.
Josephson’s tragic death serves as a reminder of the risks involved in using ride-hailing applications. It is crucially important for users to match a vehicle’s license plate with the one shown on the app before getting inside. Uber also recommends users wait indoors for their ride and sit in the back seat rather than the front.
So far, there have been countless reports from ride-hailing app users all around the world who claim to have been sexually assaulted. Last year, CNN asserted that at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers.