COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was last seen early Friday morning, but she never came home.
The Columbia Police Department says their investigation in the disappearance of Josephson has now become a death investigation after 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland was charged with her kidnapping and murder.
Whether you knew Samantha Josephson or not, it is clear the news of her passing is hitting the Columbia community hard.
We spoke with those who worked with her, went to school with her, even taught her at the University of South Carolina.
Daniela Jaimes, tells us she was Josephson’s Spanish instructor for two semesters at USC.
“I’ve been trying to fight tears all morning… it’s not fair. It’s not fair that she lost her life.” Jaimes said. “I was myself downtown last night around the same time. And I thought if only I could have done something.”
Jaimes said they had a close connection and had dreams of attending law school. Josephson asked Jaimes for a letter of recommendation for law school. She reflects on their last conversation.
“When she walked in I was like Sami, did you get into law school? She was like yeah I got into law school, and I high fived her and we celebrated that moment just because that’s something that she wanted, and she’s like thank you for that letter of recommendation, it meant a lot to me.” Jaimes said.
Many say if you knew Josephson, you couldn’t forget her.
“She was a light in the classroom. You went in the classroom and I smiled immediately when I saw her.” Jaimes said.
Emily Mcroberts, who says she worked with Josephson at East Bay Deli describes her as a “just a very bubbly person. She was very happy.”
Some USC students call this a sad wakeup call.
Austin Dove, USC Student said “When you’re downtown, you got to be aware, you got to keep your wits about you, watch out for your friends too. Don’t ever leave someone alone.”
Saddened and stunned after a night out, turned into a tragedy.
“I’m invested in their life. I’m invested in their future. And when their future is gone, like Sami’s future to me it’s just not fair,” Jaimes said. “It’s just not fair how her life got cut short. How she’s not going to fulfill her dream of being in international law, how she’s not going to fulfill the plan that her and I talked about due to someone just being very evil and just selfish.”