21-year-old USC student found dead after night out with friends

Samantha Josephson
Samantha Josephson

04 April, 2019

Authorities arrested a man in connection to the death of a 21-year-old University of SC student who was found dead after being reported missing.

"He should never be given the right to walk free again for what he did to my daughter, or given the opportunity to hurt anyone else", she said. When they returned to the vehicle, he said, the officer saw what appeared to be blood in the auto. Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death. He faces charges of murder and kidnapping in connection with Josephson's death, Holbrook said.

The next night a police officer noticed a black Chevrolet Impala near where the 21-year-old University of SC student was last seen.

"Mayor Dave Fried, B.A. Joy Tozzi and everyone in Robbinsville Township are devastated by the news that the Josephson family of Robbinsville have lost their precious Samantha".

"I can't tell you how painful this is", he said.

Upon examining the Impala owned by Rowland (above), police observed a "large amount of liquid that we believed to be blood", according to Holbrook.

Marci Josephson said her daughter was bubbly, loving and full of life and planned to go to law school after graduating in May.

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When Samantha's actual Uber driver arrived moments later, the driver cancelled the ride when she didn't show up for the pick-up, witnesses said. "We believe that she simply mistakenly got into this particular auto thinking it was an Uber ride", said Columbia Police Chief William Holbrook.

"What we have learned is. you guys have to travel together at night", he said.

Holbrook says quick DNA testing determined Josephson's blood was in Rowland's auto after his arrest Saturday near the same bar district in Columbia where Josephson was kidnapped the night before. He is being held in jail in Columbia.

Josephson's body was discovered by two turkey hunters in a secluded area off Black Bottom Road in New Zion, SC, 70 miles from Columbia in Clarendon County.

Surveillance images released by the Columbia Police Department also show the final image of Samantha before she disappeared. The officer pulled the vehicle over, and the driver fled on foot but was caught.

After a frantic day of searching for the missing student the school had earlier confirmed she was dead. "However, I take solace that the Carolina Family is here to embrace those who are hurting". Let us also pray for the men and women of law enforcement as they fight to bring evil to justice.

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