A South Carolina man was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the 2019 abduction and murder of a 21-year-old college student who mistook his car for her Uber ride. The jury took a little more than an hour to find Nathaniel Rowland guilty of killing Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina student who disappeared from Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district in March 2019.
From Robbinsville, New Jersey, Josephson got into Rowland’s car thinking it was an Uber ride that would take her back to her apartment. Instead, she found herself trapped because Rowland had the childproof locks on. She was never seen alive again.
Her body was later found in remote woods about 65 miles from Columbia. The death cast a national spotlight on ride-hailing safety and led to some changes, including more prominent displays of driver’s license plates.
Rowland maintained his innocence before being sentenced, but Circuit Judge Clifton Newman noted that all the evidence pointed to Rowland.