What to Know
- Samantha Josephson, 21, of Robbinsville Township, New Jersey, was mourned by hundreds at a funeral Wednesday
- Investigators said she was killed after a night out with friends when she accidentally climbed into a car thinking it was the Uber
- Josephson was a senior at the University of South Carolina with hopes of continuing her education at Drexel University, her family says
Hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues flooded a New Jersey temple Wednesday to bid farewell to the young college student brutally killed when she mistakenly got into the wrong car, thinking it was her Uber.
Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old from Robbinsville Township who was attending the University of South Carolina, was killed after a night out with friends last week. She had called for an Uber ride home. She got into a vehicle.
It was not her Uber.
Reading a prepared statement on behalf of Josephson's devastated family, cousin Seth Josephson told mourners Wednesday the "sadness will never end."
"It may wane in the future, but it will always leave a hole in the heart," Seth Josephson said of his cousin.
At a vigil ahead of the funeral, Josephson was remembered as a fun-loving, generous ball of energy who brightened every room.
Josephson was in her last year at the University of South Carolina and ready to head to law school, the next step on her mission to change the world.
Her boyfriend, Greg Corbishley, recently recalled their last conversation. She had thanked him for letting her just be herself.
"Even in the short time she was here, how many people she positively impacted with her energy," Corbishley said.
Three days later, she was dead. A group of hunters found Josephson's body in a rural area outside Columbia, South Carolina, early on March 29. The medical examiner's office determined she died from "multiple sharp force injuries."
Days later, 25-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland was charged with kidnapping and murder in connection with Josephson's death.
Large amounts of Josephson's blood and her cellphone were found inside Rowland's car, according to investigators. Authorities also found a container of liquid bleach, window cleaner and sanitizing wipes.
Josephson was a senior at the University of South Carolina with hopes of continuing her education at Drexel University, according to her family.
Seymour Josephson, Samantha's father, has vowed to dedicate his life to improving the safety of ride-share services.
"Samantha was by herself. She had absolutely no chance. None. The door was locked, the child safety locks were on. She had absolutely no chance," he said Sunday night at a candlelight vigil in Columbia.
The cousin, Seth Josephson, echoed those sentiments at the young woman's funeral, saying he hopes the "ride-share community learns from this and corrects mistakes easily made."
He called Rowland an "animal" and urged ride-share services like Uber and Lyft to "adjust their business model to create more accountability."
News 4 has reached out to Uber and Lyft for comment.
Previously, Uber released a statement saying that it's been working with local law enforcement and college campuses nationwide for years to educate people about ride-share safety.
"Everyone at Uber is devastated to hear about this unspeakable crime, and our hearts are with Samantha Josephson’s family and loved ones," the statement continued. "We remain focused on raising public awareness about this incredibly important issue."