Student Killed After Getting Into Car She Mistook For Uber, Police Say

Police in the US have said a student was killed after she got into a stranger's car, which she had mistook for her Uber.

Twenty-one-year-old Samantha Josephson became separated from her roommate while on a night out in Columbia, South Carolina, according to cops.

Ms Josephson had booked an Uber at around 2am on Friday morning, but was then seen on CCTV footage getting into a black Chevy Impala, mistaking it for her cab.

Police have said Samantha Josephson booked an Uber in the early hours of Friday morning. Credit: Columbia Police Department
Police have said Samantha Josephson booked an Uber in the early hours of Friday morning. Credit: Columbia Police Department

Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, has been arrested and on suspicion of murder and kidnap in connection with her death, CNN reports.

Columbia Police Chief W.H. Holbrook said: "What we know now is that she had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride and was waiting for that Uber ride to come.

"We believe that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride."

Credit: Police handout
Credit: Police handout

Her body was found around 14 hours later, 90 miles away from Columbia. After checking surveillance footage, police then began a search for the car, which was located at around 3am on Saturday morning. The driver attempted to flee from police but was quickly caught and arrested.

Inside the car, Ms Josephson's mobile phone was found, as well as bleach, anti-bacterial wipes and window cleaner, police have said.

Police have not yet revealed how the college student died.

Holbrook said he had spoken to the family of Ms Josephson before the press conference.

Nathaniel David Rowland has been arrested in relation to the murder. Credit: Columbia Police Department
Nathaniel David Rowland has been arrested in relation to the murder. Credit: Columbia Police Department

"Our hearts are broken, they're broken," he said. "There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered.

"It was gut wrenching, words really can't describe what they're going through."

Taking to Facebook her father Seymour paid a heart-breaking tribute to his daughter. Sharing a photo of them together, he wrote: "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 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."

Uber's safety guidelines advise passengers to always check that the car's description, licence plate and driver match before getting into a vehicle.

Featured Image Credit: Columbia Police Department

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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