COLUMBIA, S.C. (TCD) -- A South Carolina man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the kidnapping and murder of Samantha Josephson, a college student who got into a car she thought was a ride-share in 2019.
Samantha Josephson summoned an Uber after being separated from her roommates during a night out in Columbia at about 2 a.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019, Columbia Police said.
The 21-year-old University of South Carolina senior got into a black Chevrolet Impala in Columbia’s Five Points, thinking it was her ride, police said.
Josephson's roommates worried when they hadn't heard from her later Friday morning, and they called the police around 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Hunters found Josephson’s body in a field 90 miles from Columbia at around 4 p.m. that Friday. Her body was found about 40 feet off a dirt road in a wooded area in Clarendon County.
Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was arrested the next day on charges of murder and kidnapping in connection with Josephson's death.
Police searched for the car Josephson had gotten into, and around 3 a.m. Saturday, a Columbia officer saw the Impala and stopped the vehicle. When the officer asked the driver to get out the car, Rowland ran, but was quickly captured, police said.
Blood found in the Impala’s passenger side and trunk was matched to Josephson, the Columbia Police chief said, and Josephson’s cellphone was found in the passenger compartment. Investigators also found a container of liquid bleach, germicidal wipes and window cleaner in the vehicle.
Police said the child safety locks in the Impala were activated, which would make it difficult for anyone to open the back doors from the inside.
Josephson had been stabbed at least 120 times in the back seat, police said.