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Philadelphia Police Offer Ridesharing Safety Tips After Samantha Josephson Murder

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ridesharing in Philadelphia is the norm, but many recently took pause after hearing about the murder of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, of Robbinsville, New Jersey. The University of South Carolina political science major mistook her Uber in Columbia for a black Chevy Impala last Friday morning.

Officials said Monday that Josephson was killed by "multiple sharp force injuries."

"Let me make this crystal clear, the person in South Carolina and anyone here that has been victimized, it's not their fault," Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said, "but we certainly want to do whatever we can to reveal any knowledge we may have that would stop something like this from happening here."

Kinebrew said the murder of Josephson could have happened anywhere.

'I Can't Tell You How Painful This Is': Family, Friends Remember Samantha Josephson

The Uber driver arrived to pick up Josephson early Friday morning, but she never made it to their car. The company responded to Eyewitness News by reiterating the use of its new app feature called "Safety Center" that has a 911 integration button.

In 2017, Uber also launched its "Check Your Ride" campaign. That's when they remind riders to verify details in the app, such as the driver's name, photo, car and license plate number.

"I can see how it happens," Gina Griffin, an Uber passenger, said, "but as long as you pay attention, you should be fine."

Philadelphia police say that's not always the case.

Pennsylvania Commission Says Uber's Background Check Process Needs Upgrading

There have been at least three to four ridesharing-related crimes that happened in the city within the last two years and some were sexual assaults.

"I can't tell you how painful this is," Seymour Josephson said during a Sunday vigil.

Seymour Josephson, Samantha's father, is pressuring rideshare services to do more.

Funeral will be held on Wednesday April 3rd at 12PM with services at Congregation Beth Chaim 329 Village Road East...

Posted by Seymour Josephson on Sunday, March 31, 2019

"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."

Funeral arrangements have been set for Josephson. It will be held Wednesday near her home in New Jersey.

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