Holbrook confirmed the investigation into the disappearance of Samantha Josephson, 21, led officials to a wooded area off of Black Bottom Road in New Zion, a small town located 70 miles southeast of Columbia.
According to Holbrook, two turkey hunters found the body on Friday afternoon while hunting on private property. Holbrook said she was found about 40 feet from the dirt road. Residents of the small town said they saw a heavy police presence on Black Bottom Road following the discovery.
“It was like in the evening time before dark, I was at home and someone called me and said they had found a body,” resident Denise Roberson said. “And I was like, uh, in New Zion, small New Zion? All of a sudden you start feeling, who is it, are they okay, is it an older person, is it a child…you start worrying…it’s a small town…it’s very surprising.”
24-year-old Nathaniel Rowland is charged with murder and kidnapping in Josephson’s death. Holbrook said during Saturday night’s news conference he has known ties to the area, recently living there.
“That’s a road you wouldn’t know unless you are from here or have ties here,” Roberson said. “It’s so isolated and being a dirt road, you really have to be out looking for it.”
Roberson and several other residents said they did not know of Rowland, but feel better knowing he is custody.
“It changes your whole life, my whole life is changed, I lost mine tragically also and I just feel for the parents and pray they get some type of closure,” Roberson said. “Even though that’s not going to help them, it will help them somewhat. So, I just pray for them, I know it’s hard coming down.”
Holbrook painted a chilling picture during the news conference, including what investigators found inside the suspect’s Chevy Impala. Large blood stains, bleach, wipes and child proof locks enabled on the car doors.