Samantha did nothing out of the ordinary. She did something college kids do all the time. Heck, I have done it countless times myself. But unlike me, she did not get away with her precious young life.
She was a student at the University of South Carolina - a senior - with the entire world ahead of her.
Then she was kidnapped and murdered, and that was the end of this promising life
While murder is shocking enough to give us the chills, what's scarier is that this type of murder could have happened to anyone.
After having some fun with friends, Samantha called an Uber. A black car pulled up, and she believed it was the ride she had ordered. So, she got in without a worry in the world.
But that car was not the ride she had ordered
What ensued was a nightmare that cost the poor girl her life.
There is a lesson to be learned here, especially for college kids who have a laid back attitude towards everything in life.
Think of the many times you have called an Uber and with little concern got in and made yourself comfortable as a stranger drives you to whatever destination you requested.
It's scary to think the only answer the driver can give you is "yes" when you ask if that is the car you ordered.
I believe there needs to be a higher standard of care. Why not take things a little further and ask the driver's name so it matches what the app gave you?
While at it, have a closer look at the car and its model to see if there's a match
This might seem like a lot of unnecessary effort when you are a little tipsy after a night of drinking with friends, but it could save you from falling into the hands of a kidnapper as Samantha did.
It's not that kidnappings are rare. Samantha's story is only the latest among many similar horror stories.
History has a record of many people making the mistakes she made and paying for it with their lives.
In fact, thousands of college students do exactly what she did on a regular basis. Sure, many of them are safe by the end of their journeys. But the danger is always lurking, and it can strike when you least expect it.
That is why it is also worth going the extra mile and ensuring that you avoid getting into a hired car on your own if you can afford it. Try riding with a friend. This can increase your safety substantially.
Keep in mind that you still have plenty of fun nights to enjoy in your life. There will be wild parties, nights out with friends, and exciting club hopping to enjoy as time goes by.
So, don't be afraid to take the extra precaution
If this murder does not scare you, then I am seriously concerned for you.
But the point is this: nobody ever thinks they could be the victim until the nightmare of the situation facing begins unfolding.
Your family does not need the pain, and neither do your friends. And I am pretty sure you did not intend for your future to end abruptly in the hands of some homicidal maniac you trusted with your safety.