Samantha Josephson, Woman Killed After Mistaking Car for Uber, Awarded Posthumous College Degree
A seat was left empty and draped in a cap and gown in memory of Samantha and others who lost their lives this year.
Even though she died about a month before receiving her diploma, Samantha Josephson — the woman killed after getting into a stranger's car she mistook as her Uber — is now a college graduate.
The University of South Carolina awarded Samantha's parents with their daughter's posthumous degree at the school's commencement ceremony on Saturday. A seat was left empty and draped in a cap and gown in memory of Samantha and others who lost their lives this year, WLTX reported.
Marci Josephson, Samantha's mother, spoke to "Good Morning America" in April about accepting her daughter's diploma. "It will be the hardest thing for us to go, but we want to go. She wanted us to be there," she said.
Samantha was to graduate from the school with a political science degree and continue on to Drexel University in the fall for law school, the station reported.
However, the young student's life was cut short after a night out with friends on March 29.
Police said she had climbed into the backseat of a stranger's car that she mistook for her Uber ride, and the driver likely stabbed her to death later on. Officials said the child locks in the car were activated, preventing Samantha from escaping the back of the vehicle.
Her body was found off a dirt road in a secluded, wooded area about 65 miles from Columbia.
After Samantha's death, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides launched a nationwide "What's My Name" campaign and pleaded with students to be vigilant when going out at night and scheduling rides home.
"In Samantha's memory, I ask you to embrace a new pledge," he said in a statement. "Ask the driver, 'What's my name?' If he doesn't say your name, do not get into the vehicle."
Pastides reminded the graduates of this campaign at the ceremony, and the crowd joined in a chant of "What's my name?"
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