COLUMBIA, S.C. — The outpouring of emotion to the death of a University of South Carolina student has been swift on social media.
Samantha Josephson, 21, was found dead less than a day after she was reported missing from Columbia's Five Points District.
She was a senior from Robbinsville Township, New Jersey.
Her father, Seymour Josephson, was the first to announce the news, posting on Facebook early Saturday morning.
"It is with tremendous sadness and of a broken heart that I post this! I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life. Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be for gotten."
A few hours later, the University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides released a statement, that said in part the following:
"Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death. Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort. However, I take solace that the Carolina Family is here to embrace those who are hurting."
University of South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley's retweeted Pastides statement, and made one of her own.
"Heavy heart today as we mourn the death of one of our students Samantha Josephson," Staley said. "May God embrace her entire family, friends and loved ones."
Columbia's mayor Steve Benjamin offered prayers to the Samantha's friends and family in a tweet expressing "full faith and confidence" in the city's investigation.
Samantha's hometown remembered her, and offered condolences to her family.
Mayor Dave Fried, B.A. Joy Tozzi and everyone in Robbinsville Township are devastated by the news that the Josephson family of Robbinsville have lost their precious Samantha.
Our thoughts, prayers, boundless grief and endless support are with Seymour, Marci and Sydney at this unimaginable time.
Personal note: Seymour was like a big brother to me throughout our young baseball careers, and as the father of a daughter of similar age out trying to make a real difference in the world, this is just beyond my comprehension capabilities.
I love you, buddy...JN
Samantha was a 2015 graduate of Robbinsville High School. The school district there remembered her as a "vibrant young woman with an infectious smile and a contagious laugh."
"Our hearts are heavy with grief and shock as we process the news of the sudden death of Samantha Josephson. On behalf of our board and entire school district, we want to extend our deepest sympathy and love to the Josephson family. Sami, a 2015 Robbinsville High School graduate, was a vibrant young woman with an infectious smile and a contagious laugh. Robbinsville is a strong and close-knit community and we will continue to find ways to care for and support our students, families, friends, staff, and community members as we hold the Josephson family in our hearts."
USC's student health center opened up their counseling center Saturday for three hours to help students cope. It will be open again Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. Counseling is also available 24/7 at 803-777-5223.