Communities mourn college student found dead in S. Carolina

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

Two communities are in mourning after a South Carolina student from Mercer County was found dead hours after she was reported missing.

Authorities say University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was reported missing Friday morning. She was last seen on cameras outside Columbia, South Carolina's Five Points area. Josephson's body was found later in the day in a field by turkey hunters. Officials say she was killed by a man she believed was her Uber driver.

"What we know now is that she had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride and was waiting for that ride," says Chief William Holbrook. "We believe, we don't have a statement or any other evidence that suggests this other than our observations on the video, we believe that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride."

Police say 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland killed Josephson. They say Rowland was stopped by police during a traffic stop early Saturday and ran off when he was asked to step out of the car.

MORE: Authorities: Suspect arrested in death of missing student from NJ

Investigators say they found blood in the trunk and passenger's side of the vehicle as well as the victim's cellphone in the passenger compartment. They say they also found bleach, wipes and cleaner inside the car.

"It's surreal," says neighbor Diane Michon. "You hear about all these horrible things happening on the news and just don't expect it...it's just sickening...sickening."

Police also say Rowland had a child seat in the backseat and had child safety locks on the car doors so Stephenson could not get out.

Rowland is facing murder and kidnapping charges.

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