Final Farewell To University Of South Carolina Student From New Jersey

Samantha Josephson
Photo credit Columbia Police

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- Family and friends bid a final farewell to a University of South Carolina senior from New Jersey who was murdered after she climbed into a car she believed was her Uber ride.

Roads were closed and cars were parked as far as the eye can see as the funeral for 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was held Wednesday in her hometown of Robbinsville Township.

Mourners tried desperately to make sense of something sensless. Had Josephson opened a door to a different car that night in Columbia, South Carolina, her vibrant smile, her quirky personality might still be here today.

"The sad that is being suffered will never end," said her cousin, Seth Josephson, who believes ride share companies need to do better. "With the millions of dollars it earns, the Ubers and the Lyfts should be compelled to adjust its business model, better assuring its riders' safety."

Her father is hoping to turn the tragedy into a teaching moment, urging parents to talk to their children about traveling with friends and how to use services like Uber safely. He is also calling on ride hail apps to better identify when a driver-for-hire arrives at a pick-up location.

At a vigil Tuesday night, Josephson's boyfriend said her death should be a wake-up call to anyone using Uber or Lyft.

"Please, please if there's anything you can do extra to make sure that the driver of yourUber is there for you please take that extra step," Greg Corbishly said.

Josephson was killed after police say she got into a car last Friday after a night out with friends in Columbia's Five Points entertainment district, mistakenly thinking it was her Uber ride.

Hunters later found her body dumped in the woods about 65 miles away.

Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, is charged with murder and kidnapping. Police said Josephson's blood was found in the trunk and inside Rowland's car along with her cellphone, bleach, window cleaner and cleaning wipes.