WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The pain of losing Samantha Josephson leaves an indelible hole in the hearts of her family as hundreds of people gathered Wednesday to mourn the 21-year-old’s death.
“The sadness that is being suffered will never end. It may wane in the future, but it will always leave a hole in the hearts of her fun-loving, generous kind parents and sister,” according to a statement the family’s cousin, Seth Josephson, which was read ahead of Samantha Josephson’s funeral.
“Today they don’t know and can’t contemplate how they will think of a future.”
Samantha Josephson was a University of South Carolina senior who was weeks away from graduating and had a promising future attending law school at Drexel University in the fall.
She was found dead Friday after authorities in Columbia, South Carolina suspect she got into a car with her killer believing it was her Uber ride home from a night out with friends.
In the statement, her family demanded greater accountability from the ride sharing industry, specifically Uber and Lyft, to guarantee protections for riders.
“Education and laws need to be put into place to protect people and the ride share industry,” the statement said.
“With the millions of dollars it earns, the Ubers and the Lyfts should be compelled to adjust its business model, better assuring riders safety. The laws and regulations must be changed to create accountability in this industry.”
The Josephson family thanked authorities in South Carolina for their work to arrest the driver of the vehicle, 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland, who was charged with murder and kidnapping.
“Their pursuit to find the animal who took Sami from us won’t soon be forgotten,” the statement said.
‘Quirky, kindhearted’: Slain student remembered at vigil in New Jersey hometown
Samantha Josephson: Family, friends remember student murdered after mistaking her killer’s car for Uber
Rideshare laws: After Samantha Josephson murder, focus turns to laws
Follow Susanne Cervenka on Twitter: @scervenka;