Funeral held for student killed after ride-share mistake


WEST WINDSOR, N.J. (AP) — The cousin of a college student who authorities say mistakenly got into the wrong car and was kidnapped and killed in South Carolina said the sadness the family is suffering “will never end.”

Hundreds of mourners packed Congregation Beth Chaim on Wednesday in West Windsor, New Jersey, for Samantha Josephson’s funeral. Josephson, 21, was from nearby Robbinsville and attended the University of South Carolina.

Josephson ordered an Uber ride early Friday but mistakenly got into a similar car driven by Nathaniel David Rowland , 24, authorities said. They allege he killed Josephson and dumped her body.

Seth Josephson said outside his cousin’s funeral that the sadness “may wane in the future, but will always leave a hole in the hearts of (her) fun-loving, generous and kind parents and sister,” reported .

“Today, they don’t know and can’t contemplate how they will think of the future,” he said.

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Samantha Josephson had spent the night with friends at Columbia’s Five Points bar district, authorities said. She got separated from the group, so she called an Uber to take her home about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

The first dark car Josephson went up to was not her ride, her father, Seymour Josephson said . So she jumped into a second similar looking car, he said, adding that the vehicle’s child safety locks were on.

After Josephson got into Rowland’s car, he attacked her, causing numerous wounds to her head, neck, face, upper body, leg and foot with a sharp object, according to arrest warrants and the coroner’s report. The documents didn’t say what was used to attack her.

Josephson’s blood and cellphone were found in his car the next night when he was arrested two blocks from Five Points, authorities said.

Josephson’s body was found in Clarendon County, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) from Columbia, police said.

Rowland skipped a first court appearance, and records don’t show if he has a lawyer. He’s charged with kidnapping and murder.

In the wake of Josephson’s death, a bill has been introduced in the South Carolina Legislature to require Uber and Lyft drivers to have illuminated signs.

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