The father of a murdered college student is calling on Lyft and Uber to enact better safety precautions after his young daughter mistakenly entered a car she thought was her Uber ride, after which she was kidnapped and killed.
Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old native of Robbinsville, New Jersey, was studying political science at the University of South Carolina.
Josephson ordered an Uber at 2:00 a.m. after spending the night out with her friends. She was last seen as she left the bar shortly after 2 a.m. last Friday in Columbia’s 5Points area. Surveillance footage showed Josephson getting into a late-model Chevrolet Impala in downtown Columbia, authorities said.
Unfortunately, Josephson mistook the car for her Uber ride and got into a vehicle with a stranger with murderous intent.
Turkey hunters in Clarendon County, a rural area 65 miles southeast of Columbia, found Josephson’s body any wooded area. The location of her body was in an area that is near the home of the alleged suspect.
Police have not revealed the cause of death, other than the injuries named in arrest warrants, which indicated Josephson had injuries to her head and neck.
Police announced they have arrested a suspect in connection with Josephson’s murder. David Rowland, 24, has been arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping.
According to police, Rowland used the car’s child safety locks to trap Josephson inside his vehicle and later murder her.
Police have also questioned a woman who was in the car with Roland at the time Josephson was picked up, but according to a department spokesperson, but authorities do not believe she was in the car at the time of Josephson’s death.
Samantha Josephson’s father, Seymour Josephson, spoke out saying that he plans to do all he can to make sure other Uber and Lyft riders don’t suffer the same fate as his daughter. He is speaking out, calling on the ridesharing companies to prioritize safety.
“That is going to be my mission in life now: educating, getting that [message] out, and hopefully putting pressure on Uber and Lyft,” he told local station WLTX 19, urging students to be on guard and never travel alone at night.
Let’s be honest — you guys are drinking, leaving the bar, or whatever it may be,” he added. “If there’s somebody else in the car, there’s actually a chance.”