For several minutes, a black Chevrolet sedan with tinted windows has been driving back and forth through bustling Five Points, Columbia, where 21-year-old Samantha Josephson is spending the evening with her friends. On March 29, 2019, the group of students is celebrating the upcoming end of their studies. In a few weeks, Samantha, nicknamed Sami, will be graduating in political science from Columbia University. Admitted to Drexel Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she will soon fly to other horizons.

It’s 2 a.m. She greets her comrades. Before leaving the Bird Dog, a bar, she orders an Uber on her smartphone. On the sidewalk, she waits while looking at her screen. When the Chevrolet comes to a halt in front of it, the student gets in the back of the vehicle and confirms her address to the driver. Moments later, another sedan pulls up in front of the bar and waits. The Uber driver is waiting for his client, a certain Samantha. He looks at his profile picture, but doesn’t see it on the street. After several minutes of waiting, the driver cancels the trip, thinking that his client has changed his mind.

Samantha was her prey, no one will see her alive again

Samantha is on her way, but not for her home … She understands that the driver has taken the opposite direction and protests, convinced that he is on the wrong road. When he stops the vehicle on the side, Nathaniel Rowland, 24, glances at him in the rearview mirror that makes his blood run cold. She knows he’s not about to turn around, that there’s no GPS error. Samantha was his prey. No one will see her alive again.

“Samantha will try to open the door, but Nathaniel Rowland has activated the child safety which locks the rear doors of his Chevrolet”, ton, in this month of July 2021, the prosecutor Byron Gipson in front of the court of County of Richland, in Columbia . An unequal fight then begins: Samantha only has her hands to defend herself. His murderer is armed with a double-bladed knife. “She obviously had an incredible fight against you and left enough traces for the jury to see what you did to her,” said Judge Newman, adding that the murder was “the most serious” he has ever had. never seen in court.

Samantha’s family has created an association, WhatsMyName

His body, larded with 120 stab wounds, will be found by hunters fourteen hours later in a wood. Police found Samantha’s cell phone and a large amount of blood inside Nathaniel Rowland’s car, confused by CCTV cameras outside the bar. Despite the body of evidence, he pleaded not guilty. He was sentenced to life in prison on July 27, 2021. In South Carolina, where the trial was held, a person convicted of murder is not eligible for parole.

Marci, Samantha’s mother, insisted on reading a statement in court. “He’s a monster, he’s evil and pathetic. The excruciating pain he put my daughter Sami through is unimaginable.” In tears, she continues of her daughter: “Her dreams were my dreams, and her death was my death. I close my eyes and I feel what she went through in her hands.” Samantha’s family has created an association, WhatsMyName, to promote safety during transport in VTC and carpooling. Such as asking the driver to confirm your identity, checking the license plate or informing a loved one of your trip. Good reflexes to acquire so that such a tragedy does not happen again.

Samantha Josephson © DOC NEWS 19 WLTX

Lara T.
Lara T.

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