A South Carolina man accused of kidnapping and killing college student Samantha Josephson has been linked to another kidnapping that happened five months before the student’s murder.
CBA 19 reports that Nathaniel David Rowland, currently behind bars for Josephson’s death, reportedly tried to sell items taken from another woman after she was kidnapped and robbed in October 2018. Two other suspects attacked the victim while she was stopped at a red light in Columbia, according to police.
After assaulting her and forcing her to withdraw money from an ATM, the suspects reportedly the took the victim’s keys and ransacked her home, taking valuables with them.
Although Rowland hasn’t been charged with the previous woman’s abduction and assault, police said he got involved afterward, and tried to sell items the other suspects stole from her home. Rowland allegedly took a Playstation 4 and several other items to a pawn shop off of Two Notch Road in Columbia. Police tracked the items from the pawn shop back to Rowland.
The investigation regarding USC student Samantha Josephson is now a homicide case. Her body was found by hunters in rural Clarendon Co. late yesterday afternoon. Suspect Nathaniel Rowland has been charged w/ Murder & Kidnapping by SLED. Agents have been an integral part in case. pic.twitter.com/2tj8TVRAex
— Columbia Police Dept (@ColumbiaPDSC) March 30, 2019
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Security footage showed Josephson getting into a black Chevrolet Impala that pulled up to the Bird Dog bar parking lot on Friday at around 2 a.m in March 2018. Josephson was waiting on an Uber rider, according to police, and probably mistook the Impala driver as the Uber driver. The bartender at Bird Dog reportedly told police that the real Uber driver canceled the ride after Josephson failed to show up for pick-up.
“She had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride. She was waiting for that Uber ride to come, we believe. She simply mistakenly got into this car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Columbia Police Department Chief Skip Holbrook said during the news conference, according to NBC 10.
The following day, friends became worried after Josephson failed to return calls and texts. They contacted police at around 1:30 p.m. Friday, sparking a massive hunt for the college student.
At around 4:30 p.m. Friday, turkey hunters stumbled across the victim’s body in Clarendon County, around 70 miles from the bar she disappeared from. She was lying around 40 feet off of a dirt road in a secluded, rural area.
The following day, officers spotted a black Chevy Impala that matched the vehicle seen on security footage. Police pulled the driver over a few blocks from Five Points in Columbia. The driver, identified as Rowland, got out of the car and tried to flee by foot before officers captured him.
Inside the car, officers found blood, bleach, wipes, and Josephson’s cellphone. They noted the car had the child safety locks activated, meaning Josephson wouldn’t have been able to get out.
Rowland was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder. He was also charged with drug possession and failure to stop on police command.
Josephson, a political science major at USC, had plans to become a lawyer.
Rowland remains behind bars, facing murder and kidnapping charges.
[Featured Photo: Samantha Josephson/Columbia Police Department]