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Funeral held for student killed after ride-share mistake

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — Hundreds of mourners packed a temple in New Jersey for the funeral of a college student who authorities say mistakenly got into the wrong car and was kidnapped and killed in South Carolina.

Services for Samantha Josephson were held Wednesday at Congregation Beth Chaim in West Windsor. Josephson, 21, was from nearby Robbinsville and attended the University of South Carolina.

Josephson ordered an Uber ride early Friday but mistakenly got into a similar car driven by Nathaniel David Rowland , 24, authorities said. They allege that he killed Josephson and dumped her body.

Josephson had spent the night with friends at Columbia’s Five Points bar district, authorities said. She got separated from the group, so she called an Uber to take her home around 1:30 a.m. Friday.

The first dark car Josephson went up to was not her ride, her father, Seymour Josephsonsaid. So she jumped into a second similar looking car, he said, adding that the vehicle’s child safety locks were on.

After Josephson got into Rowland’s car, he attacked her, causing numerous wounds to her head, neck, face, upper body, leg and foot with a sharp object, according to arrest warrants and the coroner’s report. The documents didn’t say what was used to attack her.

Josephson’s blood and cellphone were found in his car the next night when he was arrested two blocks from Five Points, authorities said.

Josephson’s body was found in Clarendon County, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) from Columbia, police said.

Rowland skipped a first court appearance, and records don’t show if he has a lawyer. He’s charged with kidnapping and murder.

In the wake of Josephson’s death, a bill has been introduced in the South Carolina Legislature to require Uber and Lyft drivers to have illuminated signs.

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