Student killed in rideshare incident given posthumous degree

Student killed in rideshare incident given posthumous degree
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Samantha Josephson

The University of South Carolina on Saturday presented a posthumous degree to the parents of Samantha Josephson, a USC student who was found dead after getting into a car she thought was her rideshare.

University President Harris Pastides said he would present the degree immediately after the university’s commencement ceremony in Columbia.

“We must ensure what happened to Samantha never happens again to any college student or indeed any person,” Pastides said.

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“Asking, ‘What’s my name?’ before getting into a rideshare vehicle will save lives and must become as automatic to you as buckling our seatbelts when we get behind the wheel of a car.”

Pastides then asked the crowd to repeat the phrase “What’s my name?”

Josephson, a senior from New Jersey, had called for an Uber around 2 a.m. March 29 in Columbia outside a bar.

She was last seen getting into a black vehicle that was not her Uber. Her body was found with multiple sharp force injuries 14 hours later in a field about 90 miles away, authorities said.

Police arrested Nathaniel David Rowland on murder and kidnapping charges after an officer saw him driving a vehicle that matched the one seen in the surveillance video.

Josephson’s blood was found in the car’s passenger side and the trunk, and her cell phone was in the passenger compartment, authorities said.