The death of University of South Carolina student, Samantha Josephson, 21, who the Columbia Police Department believe accidentally got into the wrong car thinking it was one she requested for transportation is hitting a little too close to home for students at the College of Charleston who say that they also use ride sharing services.
The Columbia Police Department said earlier today in a press conference, “We believe that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride.”
A suspect, Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, has been arrested and now charged in the death of University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson, 21.
Police in Columbia say that Nathaniel David Rowland abducted and later killed Samantha Josephson, who thought he was her Uber driver.
Josephson was last seen Friday just after 2:00am outside of a bar popular among college students. Her body was found by hunters Friday afternoon off a dirt road in a wooded area in Clarendon County, South Carolina.
Rowland was arrested following a brief foot chase around 3:00am not far from the college bars where Josephson was last seen. Rowland has been charged with murder and kidnapping.
Camryn Ryan, student at the College of Charleston, says that its not always easy to recognize your ride share vehicle, especially at night. She says, “Often times its really dark when they are driving, if its late at night and you are coming home from a party.”
Tate Desautalle, student at the College of Charleston, says that when it’s hard to recognize if a car is legitimate, before even entering the vehicle, ask if the driver knows your name. This information is provided to the drivers, by the app used to request service. She says, “One thing that I always do is that I knock on the front window and they’ll roll it down and ask, “is this Uber for Tate?”, because they know my name and if they don’t say anything, then it obviously isn’t.”
Another safety precaution to follow when using a ride share service, one student says is to check the driver’s rating in the app.
Holly Malnati, student at the College of Charleston, says, “Definitely look at their ratings, just to see, one how many rides they’ve done— and then if I’m just getting weird vibes, I’ll cancel it.”
The Uber company has been contacted by the News 2 team, but they responded with “no comment” on the death of the USC student.
The College of Charleston students say when using a ride-share app, before entering any car that claims to be your driver, make sure that the license plate number, make & model of the vehicle, and driver name all match up with the details provided in the app for the car you requested.