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Man arrested, charged with murder in death of Samantha Josephson, University of South Carolina student

Left to right: Nathaniel David Rowland (suspect) and Samantha Josephson (victim)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities arrested a man in connection to the death of a 21-year-old University of South Carolina student who was found dead after being reported missing.

Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, faces charges of murder and kidnapping in the death of Samantha Josephson, according to Columbia police.

Josephson was reported missing by friends after she didn’t return home or return phone calls. Friends said she was last seen between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Friday in the 700 block of Harden Street.

Police said Josephson was waiting for an Uber when she got into a black Impala with Rowland. Her blood and cellphone were later found in the car.

There were child safety locks in the back of the car to prevent an escape, according to police.

Police said turkey hunters found Josephson’s body in a rural area near where the suspect once lived.

Rowland was stopped by Columbia police at 3 a.m. Saturday and ran off after being asked to step out of the car, according to police. He was later arrested.

Police then saw blood in the car and later discovered the victim’s cellphone, bleach, wipes and window cleaner.

The University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides confirmed the death on Saturday.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write these words this morning. Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death. Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort. However, I take solace that the Carolina Family is here to embrace those who are hurting.

“As you make plans for the weekend, remember the tenets of Stand Up Carolina: look out for one another, be active bystanders,” the president’s statement continues. “Travel in groups and stay together. If you have not already done so, download the RAVE Guardian safety app, set up your profile and learn how to use it. It has been a difficult week for our extended Carolina family. The loss of a student is never easy but this has been a particularly painful few days as we have experienced loss on several of our campuses. As a family, let’s continue to pray for all the families experiencing heartache and grief this week.”

Samantha Josephson’s father, Seymour Josephson, also confirmed his daughter’s death on Facebook.

It is with tremendous sadness and of a broken heart that I post this! I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life. Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be for gotten. It is extremely hard to write this and post it but I love her with all my heart. I could continue to write about her but it kills me. I sit here and cry while looking at the picture and write this.

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