Cause of Death Revealed for USC Student Slain By Mistaken Uber Driver

Last Friday, Samantha Josephson called an Uber to pick her up at about 2 a.m. after becoming separated from her roommates at the end of a night out.

Surveillance footage shows that she waited by herself on a curb before getting into the back of a black Chevy Impala.


Josephson believed the vehicle was her ride, and the next afternoon, her body was found in a field in Clarendon County, 90 miles from Columbia, South Carolina. She had multiple wounds on her head, neck, face, upper body, leg and foot.

Local law enforcement stated that she suffered from “multiple sharp force injuries”, though investigators have not said what kind of weapon was used.

Suspect arrested by police

Nathaniel David Rowland was arrested on Saturday after a police officer spotted him driving the Chevy Impala. Blood belonging to Josephson was found in the passenger seats as well as the trunk of the vehicle.

Rowland faces murder and kidnapping charges related to Josephson’s death, according to police. He also has been charged with misdemeanor charges for failure to stop on police command and simple marijuana possession.

Currently, Rowland is being held in a Columbia jail. Police have also called in for questioning a female acquaintance of Rowland who was in his car at the time of his arrest.

Condolences for Josephson’s family

South Carolina governor Henry McMaster tweeted his condolences following the death of Josephson.

“She was one of the brightest young stars at @uofsc,” he said, adding, “I ask every South Carolinian to join us in praying for the Josephson family. Let us also pray for the men and women of law enforcement as they fight to bring evil to justice.”

Ride-sharing safety

Uber and Lyft are ride-sharing apps that allow self-starters to use their personal vehicles as taxis, which can be called by anyone who has them downloaded. Drivers typically must follow a criminal background check before being approved to drive for the services.

Both apps display information about the vehicle that has been selected to pick you up, including color, make, model and license plate number. Riders are encouraged to verify all of these identifiers before entering a vehicle.

Additionally, both apps require drivers to adhere Uber or Lyft decals on their dashboard.