Samantha Josephson Murder: Where is Nathaniel Rowland Now?

In March 2019, Samantha Josephson’s night out with friends in Columbia, South Carolina, suddenly ended when she got into a car she thought was the Uber ride she had booked. Hours later, the young woman was found murdered many miles away from where she was last seen. Investigation Discovery’s ‘See No Evil: Rideshare Nightmare’ chronicles how the authorities used security camera footage and other evidence to find and bring Samantha’s killer to justice. So, let’s find out more about what happened then, shall we?

How Did Samantha Josephson Die?

Samantha Josephson was born to Seymour and Marci Josephson in August 1997 in Princeton, New Jersey. The young and ambitious woman was a senior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in Political Science. At the time of the incident, she was just weeks away from graduation. Samantha also got a scholarship to study law at Drexel University in Pennsylvania. Just when things were looking up for the 21-year-old, she met a tragic end.

Image Credit: Find a Grave/Nicole

At around 2 am on March 29, 2019, Samantha called for an Uber after a night out with friends in Columbia, South Carolina. The group had been celebrating her upcoming graduation. However, Samantha got separated from her friends and decided to go home. But about 14 hours later, turkey hunters found her body off a dirt road in a field about 90 miles from Columbia. Samantha had over a hundred stab wounds on her face, head, neck, upper body, leg, and foot. She bled out to the extent that she barely had any blood left in her body.

Who Killed Samantha Josephson?

Samantha’s roommates first began to worry when they couldn’t reach her the following morning. By afternoon on March 29, they felt it was prudent to call the authorities and report her missing. Her boyfriend later stated he spoke to her on the night she disappeared and tracked her to ensure she got home. However, according to him, Samantha’s phone stopped in Rosewood, South Carolina. At the time, he assumed she had forgotten her phone in the cab.

Image Credit: News 19 WLTX/YouTube

Within hours of Samantha being reported missing, her remains were found in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Surveillance footage from the area she was last seen showed her waiting for a cab. Then, a black car was seen pulling into a parking spot, and Samantha walked toward that vehicle. In the video, she was seen getting into the car she thought was her Uber ride. However, it turned out to be her killer. The actual Uber driver later testified that he waited for Samantha, but she never showed up.

The authorities then began to search for the car seen in the security footage. On March 30, 2019, they found a similar vehicle a few blocks from the area where Samantha was last seen. The car was stopped, but the driver ran after getting out of the vehicle. Nathaniel Rowland, then 24, was captured and arrested, with the vehicle being examined for evidence. The investigators found Samantha’s blood in his car and her footprint on the rear window. Furthermore, the child lock was activated, making it difficult for someone to open the door from inside.

The police also found cleaning supplies in the car and a double-bladed knife in the trash behind his girlfriend’s home. Then, Samantha’s blood was located on some clothing owned by Nathaniel. Cell phone records showed that he was in the area where the body was found, and Samantha’s cellphone was discovered in his car. A store owner later testified that Nathaniel tried to sell him a phone on March 29, 2019. Furthermore, cellphone data also showed Samantha and Nathaniel’s phones together in the car at the same time.

Where is Nathaniel Rowland Today?

During the investigation, Nathaniel was also connected to another crime; selling off stolen property in October 2018. According to the authorities, a woman was carjacked by two men who stole money and items from her home. Nathaniel then sold some of those items. At his trial in 2021, the prosection’s witness said DNA under Nathaniel’s fingernails matched Samantha. However, the defense claimed there wasn’t any certainty regarding his DNA on the knife.

In July 2021, Nathaniel was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Samantha in addition to possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Soon after that, he was sentenced to life in prison. Nathaniel said in court, “For whoever asked me for leniency, that’s not part of my DNA. But I guess what I know and what I think really doesn’t matter. I just wish the state would have done more finding out who the actual person was instead of detaining me and proving my guilt.” It seems that Rowland is currently serving his sentence at a correctional facility in South Carolina.

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