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July 20, 2024

National News, Monday, April 1st; College Student Killed After Getting Into Car She Thought Was Uber

by Don Early and Aaron Martinez for Basin Life Magazine


Police arrested a man Saturday in connection with the death of a college student who apparently got into the suspect’s car thinking it was her Uber ride. 

Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was arrested early Saturday after a police officer noticed him driving a black Chevy Impala, the same type of car that Samantha Josephson got into as she left a bar shortly after 2 a.m. Friday in the city of Columbia’s 5 Points area, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said at a news conference.

Josephson’s body was found by hunters in rural Clarendon Co. late yesterday afternoon.  Suspect Nathaniel Rowland has been charged with murder and kidnapping.

Rowland tried to run, but the officer was able to catch up to him, Holbrook said. When they returned to the car, he said, the officer saw what appeared to be blood in the car. 

“We believe … that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Holbrook said of Josephson, noting that surveillance video captured her getting into the car. “She opened the door and got into it and departed with the suspect driving.” 

Rowland will be charged with murder and kidnapping, authorities said. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Holbrook said he spoke with Josephson’s family prior to the press conference.

“Our hearts are broken, they’re broken. There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered,” he said. “It was gut wrenching, words really can’t describe what they’re going through.”

Trump cuts Assistance to Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala

President Trump is serious about conditions at the southern U.S. border and today sent notice that he is immediately cutting off all direct assistance to the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

“At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY [fiscal year] 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” a State Department spokesperson told ABC News, referring to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”

These three countries are the primary source of migrants to the U.S., but for years the U.S. has worked with them to stabilize their political environments and economies and end violence and corruption so that migrants wouldn’t leave in the first place.

Trump hinted at the cuts earlier on Friday, telling reporters,”I’ve ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras, and to El Salvador. No money goes there anymore.”

While the president has threatened these cuts before, this time the administration is actually following through.

Trump said the funds totaled $500 million, but it wasn’t clear Friday if that figure was accurate. The State Department announced in December that the U.S. would mobilize $5.8 billion in public and private american investment to these three countries.

“We’re not paying them anymore because they haven’t done a thing for us,” he added.

His senior-most advisers, however, have carried a very different tune, talking very often about the importance of this assistance to stem the flow of illegal immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was in Mexico and Honduras this week meeting with their leadership to sign new partnership agreements. Pompeo testified before the House of Representatives on Wednesday about the administration’s efforts, saying the president had instructed him and Nielsen to use U.S. funding to “develop a set of programs that reward effective outcomes, that reward good leadership, that get us to a place where we actually achieve the outcomes.”

RaNiya Wright, an elementary school student from Colleton County, died Wednesday morning at MUSC.

Wright, 10, suffered serious injuries in a classroom fight at Forest Hills Elementary School on Monday, March 25, officials say.

Wright, a fifth grader, had been unresponsive and in critical condition since Monday, family says.

Another child involved in the fight has been suspended from school indefinitely, the Colleton County School District says.

The fight remains under investigation. Authorities have not released further details about the incident.

The extent of Wright’s injuries from the fight and the cause of her death were not immediately available Wednesday.

Richard Harvey, Colleton County Coroner, said Wright would undergo an autopsy at MUSC most likely on Friday morning.

School district staff deployed a crisis response team to the school Tuesday to offer support to students and staff.

“We are devastated by this news, and we want our communities to keep their thoughts and prayers with the student’s family at this time,” the school district wrote on its Facebook page Wednesday morning.

The school district has “temporarily” deactivated its Facebook page, it announced after news of the Wright’s death. The page had been bombarded with criticisms from followers since Monday.

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