Eastern Iowa Uber driver offers safety tips after college student's death

The father of a University of SC student who police say was kidnapped and killed after she got into the wrong auto thinking it was her Uber is promising to dedicate his life to improving the safety of ride sharing services.

Family and friends will gather for a candlelight vigil in honor of 21-year-old University of SC student Samantha Josephson Tuesday night. After she got into a stranger's auto, mistaking it for her Uber, the child safely locks were activated, preventing her from escaping, police said.

CCTV from the morning that Josephson went missing showed her getting into the back seat of a black Chevrolet Impala driven by Rowland around 2am on Friday.

Police arrested a man Saturday in connection with the death of a college student who apparently got into the suspect's auto thinking it was her Uber ride.

Second: ask the driver "what's my name?" and if they get it wrong or don't know, do not get in the vehicle, Pastides said. Police initiated a search, and some 14 hours later, her body was discovered in a field by turkey hunters off a dirt road. Also in the vehicle, police found, were a jug of bleach, germicidal wipes, and window cleaner that Rowland allegedly meant to use to clean the blood.

She was last seen by roommates early Friday in the city of Columbia, but they became separated from her.

He wrote: "I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of my life". She had absolutely no chance. The college student's phone was found in Rowland's vehicle, according to police. "Samantha Josephson. My daughter's name is Samantha Josephson".


USC also asked students to pledge use caution when using ridesharing services by making sure any vehicles picking them up match the descriptions given in the services' app, and by asking for the drivers' names. It's never easy to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered.

They still came, but while her father went to the candlelight vigil her mother was at the Richland county jail for a hearing.

"Right as I'm pulling up, I'll roll down my window and I'll say their name, and then have them repeat my name, so [it's as] simple as that", said Lyft driver Justin Brown. "She was one of the brightest young stars", McMaster wrote.

"What we learned is...you guys have to travel together", he added.

Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin said "nothing mitigates the pain of the loss of a child but I have full faith & confidence in the men & women of the Columbia Police Department & SLED as they ably investigate this tragedy". "Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort".

According to the Facebook page of Josephson's father, the family lives in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, about 10 miles east of Trenton, CNN affiliate WACH-TV reported. "Our thoughts, prayers, boundless grief and endless support are with Seymour, Marci and Sydney at this unimaginable time", the statement read.

  • Tracy Klein