Samantha Josephson Murder: Where is Nathaniel Rowland Now?

Image Credit: Seymour Josephson/Facebook

When 21-year-old Samantha Josephson disappeared after a night out with her friends, her family and friends got worried and involved the police, who found her body several miles away in a remote area. Relying on CCTV footage, the authorities delved deep into the investigation, looking for the perpetrator/s responsible for the gruesome murder. Hulu’s ‘Death in the Dorms: Samantha Josephson’ and Investigation Discovery’s ‘See No Evil: Rideshare Nightmare’ cover the intricate details of the 2019 murder case of Samantha Josephson. The episodes also consist of interviews with her loved ones, giving us a more detailed account of the tragedy.

Samantha Josephson Went Missing and Was Later Found Dead in a Field

Samantha Lee Josephson came as a blessing into the life of her parents, Seymour and Marci Josephson, on August 13, 1997, in Princeton, New Jersey. However, she was mostly raised in Robbinsville alongside the loving support of her sister, Sydney Josephson. Pursuing a degree in Political Science, Samantha went to the University of South Carolina, where she was a senior and a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at the time of her unfortunate death. With graduation in sight, she was looking forward to continuing her education at Drexel University School of Law.

Image Credit: Seymour Josephson/Facebook

Apart from earning a full scholarship to Drexel University, the 21-year-old was also eligible for a partial scholarship to Rutgers. For her studies, Samantha also traveled abroad to Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, as well as Paris, France, while she was in South Carolina. With so much to look forward to, Samantha’s ambitions were left unfulfilled when she never arrived home after a night out. After joining her friends for a night in the Five Points district in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, she left for home at approximately 2 am on March 29, 2019, and ordered an Uber. Unfortunately, this was the last time anyone ever saw her, as she never made it home.

Concerned about her sudden disappearance, Samantha’s roommates reported her missing the following day, and the police launched a search for her. In the afternoon of the same day, about 14 hours into her disappearance, Samantha’s body was discovered by turkey hunters in a field in the town of New Zion in Clarendon County. After her body was sent for autopsy, the results showed that the cause of her death was multiple sharp force injuries that were inflicted all over her body. Reports also suggested that she suffered approximately 120 stab wounds and lost a lot of blood. The authorities looked for any incriminating pieces of evidence in and around the area where they found the body in an attempt to find a lead or two.

Samantha Josephson Lost Her Life After Entering a Car She Thought Was Her Uber Ride

Upon interviewing Samantha Josephson’s close ones, the investigators found out that she had gone out with her friends the previous night. After learning that, the police went over the CCTV footage of the area, where she got inside a car, mistakenly took it for her Uber ride, and went missing. It was approximately 2 am when she left the Bird Dog bar and booked an Uber. A few minutes later, a black Chevrolet Impala pulled up right beside her. Without checking, she took it for her ride and entered the vehicle. But as soon as she sat inside the car, the driver, Nathaniel Rowland, activated the child locks and trapped her inside.

Rowland went on to kidnap and murder Samantha using a two-bladed knife, inflicting about 120 stab wounds. Despite her best attempts to defend herself, it wasn’t enough to stop him from killing her as he seemingly stabbed her rapidly and repeatedly. As per the pathologist, the attack and struggle resulted in her bleeding out and dying within 10-20 minutes of the stabbings. According to the detectives, Rowland then dragged Samantha to the New Zion field, where her body was found. When they searched for a car that looked exactly the same as in the video, the authorities came across Rowland.

When he was stopped in his tracks around the Five Points area by the police, he pulled over and in a state of panic, started to run away. However, the detectives were quick enough to capture and arrest Rowland around 3 am on March 30, 2019. When they inspected his car, they found germicidal wipes, a container of liquid bleach, and window cleaner alongside Samantha’s phone and her blood scattered all over the passenger seat and in the trunk of the vehicle. Even at the time of his arrest, the car had the child locks activated, which was what prevented her from escaping and getting away.

The search for more incriminating evidence against Rowland took the investigators to the suspect’s girlfriend’s house as well. There, they searched the trash behind the residence and discovered a two-bladed knife and more cleaning supplies, both of which were covered with Samantha’s blood. One of his socks and a bandana also had traces of her blood. Moreover, Samantha’s DNA under Rowland’s fingernails was the final nail in the coffin for the case. In addition, the detectives also discovered bare footprint impressions on his car that matched the patterns on the soles of the 21-year-old woman’s bare feet.

In light of all the evidence, he was charged with the kidnapping and murder of Samantha Josephson and possession of a weapon while committing a crime. The tragic and untimely demise of Samantha opened a dialogue and discussion about the dangers of ridesharing and the passing of Sami’s Law in New Jersey, which provided protection for drivers as well as passengers using the services by taking certain measures, including displaying an illuminated sign of the company’s name and clearer displays of the license plates.

Nathaniel Rowland is Behind Bars, Serving His Life Sentence

The trial of Nathaniel Rowland for the murder case of Samantha Josephson began on July 20, 2021. The prosecutors called 31 witnesses to testify against the defendant, which included a cell phone store owner to whom he tried to sell her phone after killing her, his former girlfriend, the turkey hunters who found her body, and various experts. While the defense had no witnesses of their own, he was adamant to not testify.

Just a week or so after the trial began, on July 27, 2021, the jury returned with the guilty verdict for Rowland, convicting him of all the charges against him. Right after his conviction, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The judge deemed it the “most severe” murder case he had ever seen or heard in court and labeled the convict “heartless.” Currently, Nathaniel Rowland is behind bars serving his sentence at Lieber Correctional Institute at 136 Wilborn Avenue in Ridgeville, South Carolina.

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