Cause of Death Out for Student Who Mistook Car for Her Uber

But authorities haven't commented on weapon
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2019 12:26 PM CDT
Cause of Death Out for Student Who Mistook Car for Her Uber
This undated photo provided by the Columbia Police Department shows Samantha Josephson.   (Columbia Police Department via AP)

Samantha Josephson's body was found within hours of her being reported missing on Friday, but it took days for officials to reveal her cause of death. The State Law Enforcement Division said in a Monday news release the 21-year-old University of South Carolina student died of "multiple sharp force injuries." The State reports an SLED rep wouldn't comment on what type of weapon may have been used or whether a weapon was recovered, but it did quote arrest warrants released Sunday that elaborated: Josephson, who apparently got into a vehicle she mistook for her Uber ride, suffered "numerous wounds evident on multiple parts of her body to include her head, neck, face, upper body, leg, and foot." Nathaniel Rowland, 24, is being held on murder and kidnapping charges. More on the case:

  • CBS News has a statement from Uber: "Everyone at Uber is devastated to hear about this unspeakable crime, and our hearts are with Samantha Josephson's family and loved ones. We remain focused on raising public awareness about this incredibly important issue" [of imposter drivers]."

  • CBS also reprints the 10 safety tips provided by Uber on its website. Uber emphasizes checking the license plate number and driver photo and name before getting in; always sitting in the backseat if you're alone; and employing its "Share status" feature, which can let family and friends see your ETA and driver info even if they don't have the app.
  • The State reports a painful detail: In the week of her death, Seymour Josephson had put down a deposit at the law school his daughter was to attend in the fall, Drexel University. He had planned a surprise visit to see her on Sunday; instead, he spent that evening at a vigil, where he said he "hopefully" planned to push Uber and Lyft to bolster the safety measures they take.
  • It's definitely, not hopefully, for South Caroline State Rep. Seth Rose, who is introducing the "Samantha L. Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act" on Tuesday. The bill would require ride-sharing vehicles operating in the state to have illuminated signs one could read from a distance of 50 feet during the day. WSPA has the full text of the bill here.
  • USA Today reports Uber has been testing a glowing "beacon" in some markets. When booking a ride, the rider would select the color the device would illuminate in as a further safety measure.
  • A GoFundMe campaign to cover Josephson's memorial costs is up to $68,000.
(Video may show her fatal Uber mistake.)

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