COLUMBIA, S.C. (CBS) – It’s a life gone too soon as friends and family gathered Sunday to remember 21-year-old Samantha Josephson. The University of South Carolina student and New Jersey native was abducted and killed after getting into a car Friday that she thought was her Uber in Columbia, South Carolina’s 5 Points area.
Her father now has a warning to students and young people everywhere: be safer and act smarter.
“I can’t tell you how painful this is,” Seymour Josephson said.
Josephson pledged to honor his daughter’s memory by bringing pressure on rideshare services to increase safety standards.
“Samantha was by herself, she had absolutely no chance,” he said. “None. The door was locked. The child-safety lock was on. She had absolutely no chance. If there’s somebody else in the car, there’s actually a chance.”
Hours before the vigil, Nathaniel David Rowland, the man accused of killing Samantha Josephson, waived his appearance before a South Carolina judge.
Investigators haven’t said how Josephson died.
In Rowland’s car, the child safety locks were activated, meaning she couldn’t escape.
Her body was dumped 70 miles outside of Columbia.
In court, Marci Josephson, Samantha’s mother, held nothing back.
“His actions were senseless, vile and unacceptable,” she said. “It sickens us to think that his face was the last thing my baby girl saw on this earth. Does he even know her name?
“He took away our daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin and a friend to so many. “His selfish, unspeakable and violent actions have created a hole in the universe, a hole in our universe and we see the unimaginable ripple effect in our world.”
Samantha Josephson was winding down time as a Gamecock and was looking forward to law school at Drexel University.