South Carolina Student Killed After Getting Into a Car She Thought Was an Uber

A simple mistake made by a South Carolina student on a night she went out drinking with her friends ended up costing her her life. Police have managed to apprehend a suspect believed to have kidnapped and murdered Samantha Josephson, after she mistakenly got into his car.
Police arrest driver of Chevy Impala for kidnapping and murder of SC student 6 photos
Photo: Twitter / Columbia Police Department
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Josephson went missing on Friday, after a night out with her friends. At about 2 in the morning, she came out of the bar to wait for the Uber she had summoned via the app. Security footage released by the Columbia Police Department show a black Chevrolet Impala pulling in, and Josephson getting inside.

That was the last she was seen, before her body was found dumped in a field, in an area close to where the suspect currently in custody resides. Not checking to see if the car and the driver fit the description in the app was a terrible mistake.

On Saturday, police had their man in custody. An officer noticed the Impala at a junction and tried a traffic stop. The driver pulled over and tried to run on foot, but was eventually apprehended. His name is Nathaniel Rowland and he’s been charged with kidnapping and murder, after police have recovered damning evidence from the car.

Investigators found blood in the passenger compartment and in the trunk of the car, Chief William Holbrook of the Columbia Police Department said at a press conference. They also recovered Josephson’s cellphone, and found bleach, wipes and window cleaner inside – meaning that the suspect had plans to clean up the crime scene. The car’s child safety locks were all activated.

“We believe… that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Holbrook said. “She opened the door and got into it and departed with the suspect driving.”

Uber has refused to comment on the killing: an understandable choice, since it was not directly involved in it. Its community guidelines urge riders to double-check if the car and driver that show up match the description in the app.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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