Watch CBS News

Slain South Carolina student's mother blasts suspect in court: "Does he even know her name?"

Student killed after mistaking car for Uber
Student killed after mistaking car for Uber, police say child safety lock was on 02:51

The mother of Samantha Josephson, the University of South Carolina student who was killed after she mistakenly got into a car she thought was her Uber ride, pleaded with the judge to put suspect Nathaniel David Rowland away for life. Police have charged the 24-year-old man with Josephson's kidnapping and murder.

At a court hearing for the 24-year-old Rowland on Sunday, Marci Josephson was emotional as she read a statement, in which she said, "I cannot fathom how someone could randomly select a person, a beautiful girl, and steal her life away … There are no words to describe the immense pain his actions have caused our family and friends. He's taken away a piece of our heart, soul and life.

"It sickens us to think that his face was the last thing that my baby girl saw on this Earth. Does he even know her name?

University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson. Family Photo

"He should never be given the right to walk free again for what he did to my daughter, or given the opportunity to hurt anybody else … My daughter's name is Samantha Josephson. Don't ever forget her name. Samantha Josephson.

"Shame on him."

Last night, hundreds of students held a vigil to pay their respects, reports correspondent David Begnaud.

Josephson was last seen Friday after a night out with her friends. After separating form her roommates, she mistakenly got into a black Chevy Impala thinking it was her Uber. Police say not only did she get into the wrong car, but that she could not get out because the suspect had the child safety door locks on.

At about 1:30 Friday afternoon Josephson's friends reported her missing. Later that day, turkey hunters discovered her body more than 65 miles away in a secluded, wooded area.

Early Saturday morning officers pulled over Rowland while he was driving the Impala they had been looking for. He fled on foot before officers caught him.  Police say they found blood, window cleaner, bleach, and the victim's cellphone in his car.

According to a source, Uber does not have a record of any driver with the suspect's name.

Those who knew the 21-year-old college senior remember Samantha Josephson as having an infectious smile and contagious laugh. "She had a personality and a presence that lit up a room every time she entered," said one.

"She truly was the love of my life," her boyfriend said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.