Suspect Arrested in South Carolina University Student’s Death

By Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff
March 31, 2019 Updated: March 31, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Police arrested a man Saturday, March 30, in connection with the death of a college student who apparently got into the suspect’s car thinking it was her Uber ride.

Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was arrested early Saturday after a police officer noticed him driving a black Chevy Impala, the same type of car that Samantha Josephson got into as she left a bar shortly after 2 a.m. Friday in the city of Columbia’s 5 Points area, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said at a news conference.

Rowland tried to run, but the officer was able to catch up to him, Holbrook said. When they returned to the car, he said, the officer saw what appeared to be blood in the car.

“We believe … that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Holbrook said of Josephson, noting that surveillance video captured her getting into the car. “She opened the door and got into it and departed with the suspect driving.”

Rowland will be charged with murder and kidnapping, Rowland said. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Holbrook said hunters found Josephson’s body late Friday afternoon off a dirt road in rural Clarendon County, which is about 65 miles southeast of Columbia.

Samantha Josephson
Samantha Josephson. (Columbia Police Department)

‘Samantha Is No Longer With Us:’ Father

Josephson was confirmed dead on Saturday morning.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write these words this morning,” USC president Harris Pastides said in a statement addressing the Carolina family. “Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death. Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort. However, I take solace that the Carolina Family is here to embrace those who are hurting.”

A Facebook post written earlier in the day by Samantha Josephson, Samantha’s father, also confirmed the sad news.

“Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten,” he wrote.

“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,” read the post.

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…

Posted by Seymour Josephson on Saturday, March 30, 2019

Samantha was a senior political science major at USC, WAFB-TV reported.

According to the Columbia Police Department (CPD), Samantha was last seen by friends at 715 Harden Street between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. in the morning of March 29.

“Loved ones have not been able to make contact with her since. They’re worried about her well-being & safety,” CPD said in a Twitter post.

CPD also posted a picture of Samantha when she was last seen on Harden Street talking on the phone.

Special Victims Unit investigators from CPD believe that Samantha was seen getting into a dark-colored, newer model Chevy Impala along Harden Street shortly after 2:00 a.m. on the day she was reported missing.

In his statement, Pastides encouraged USC students to travel in groups and stay together in his statement.

“As you make plans for the weekend, remember the tenets of Stand Up Carolina: look out for one another, be active bystanders. Travel in groups and stay together. If you have not already done so, download the RAVE Guardian safety app, set up your profile and learn how to use it,” he said.

The Associated Press and The Epoch Times Reporter Allen Zhong contributed to this report.

Epoch Times Staff
Epoch Times Staff