ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The murder of a college student has captured the attention of people across the country. 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was last seen early Friday morning. She was a student at the University of South Carolina. Police arrested 24-year-old Nathanial David Rowland for her murder and kidnapping. Josephson's murder has sparked one local mother to speak out.
Gil Harrington started the Help Save the Next Girl organization after her daughter Morgan was killed.
Harrington's daughter was murdered 10 years ago, prompting her to start the local non-profit: Help Save the Next Girl. The organization educates young women and helps with victim outreach and legislative activism.
"We really became impassioned on trying to prevent such crimes and this level of anguish for other families," Harrington, Founder and President of Help Save the Next Girl, said.
The murder of Columbia, South Carolina college student Samantha Josephson really hit home for her. Harrington's daughter was a Virginia Tech college student.
"It's not very far different scenario then happened to our Morgan at the John Paul Jones Arena after she left the concert arena there . . . Samantha and her friends did almost every single thing right, and that's what's so disturbing," she said.
She wants to spread the message: no one is completely safe, no matter where you live.
"Predators are called to the same events and communities as regular people and they hide in plain sight, that's how they're successful," she said.
But there are methods one can take to stay as safe as possible. She said, "The most basic thing is really buddy up, stay together, stay safe."
An Uber spokesperson says before getting into an Uber, always check and make sure the driver's name and the car model match what comes up in your app.
"It is too late for our daughter, we want to save the next girl, and inevitably, tragically, there will always be the next girl, we hope we are making far fewer of them," Harrington said.