COLUMBIA, S.C. — The death of a USC student has provoked feelings of sadness across South Carolina, and the state's officials are no exception.
Samantha Josephson was a 21-year-old student at the University of South Carolina. Columbia police say she was kidnapped and killed this week after being reported missing from Five Points early Friday morning.
Since the news of her death, prayers have flooded in for the student and her family. Gov. Henry McMaster offered his own prayers in a tweet expressing his devastation:
"Peggy and I are devastated and crushed over the Josephson family losing their beautiful daughter Samantha. She was one of the brightest young stars at @uofsc. I ask every South Carolinian to join us in praying for the Josephson family. Let us also pray for the men and women of law enforcement as they fight to bring evil to justice."
This incident has left a family with a tragic loss — the loss of a daughter. This was a sentiment that Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin echoed in a tweet:
"We are praying for the Josephson family and Samantha’s friends in this incredibly sad time. Nothing mitigates the pain of the loss of a child but I have full faith & confidence in the men & women of the Columbia Police Department & SLED as they ably investigate this tragedy."
As stated by Benjamin, Columbia police headed this death investigation — one they called "personal" in a tweet.
"Our hearts are broken. There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered. It was gut-wrenching. This is personal to us."