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Universities react to ride-share mistake that led to murder of USC student

(IMAGE:WPMI)Univ. of South Alabama students urged to be alert after USC student killed
(IMAGE:WPMI)Univ. of South Alabama students urged to be alert after USC student killed

Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina student, did what almost every college student does and went out Thursday night. She had to work the next morning so she left early, hailing an Uber after 1 a.m.

She gets into a black sedan, not knowing it would be her murderer.

“She mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride,” law enforcement said this weekend.

Her body was found a day later, she had been kidnapped and murdered.

It's a shocking reminder for every college community, including Mobile.

The University of South Alabama is making changes because of what happened.

“I think one of the things we are going to do that we have not done and it takes an unfortunate situation like this to do, is we are going to incorporate this into our orientation,” USA Police Department Chief Zeke Aull said.

We also met an Uber driver who has worked in Mobile for all four years the ride share app has been active in the area. Her first tip is to verify the driver of the car you’re getting into.

“Always ask what is your name and make sure it matches up,” said Melody Bagwell.

Bagwell's suggestions are to make sure to check your safety tool kit in the Uber app before getting into an Uber.

The app will tell you exactly who will be behind the wheel, what kind of car they have and even the plate number.

Check for the Uber sticker too.

And also check and see if the child safety locks are on, they’re visible in the video above. In case you’re unfamiliar, they’re on the interior portion of the back door itself, and it’s typically a sliding mechanism that makes doors unable to open.

In Josephson's case, the child locks were on, making it hard to escape.

For anyone using an Uber who wants an extra security blanket, the app has an additional security feature.

“You can also share that information with a friend,” said Bagwell.

Uber’s app allows you to share your trip’s information with someone, and it'll include the GPS coordinates and who is driving the car.

And if you ever feel remotely in danger, there is a 911 button in the Uber app, and of course you can call police on your own.

At USA, the LiveSafe app is another alternative, which tracks your GPS and alerts authorities of your location immediately with the touch of a button as well.