‘It makes me sick to my stomach’ community continues to mourn the loss of Samantha Josephson

Samantha Josephson and Fonda Fralin
Samantha Josephson and Fonda Fralin
Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 at 6:38 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As raw emotion fills Columbia, the community is mourning in Five Points, where 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was last seen alive.

Flowers and candles sit outside the Five Points fountain in memory of Josephson.

It started with just a few candles and flowers Saturday night, by a group of friends who say they did not know Josephson personally, but felt she needed to be honored.

As those in this tight-knit community will say, when one Gamecock is hurt, everyone feels it.

“It’s horrible and we are at a loss for words.” Alex Cosentino, a student said.

Friends, family, loved ones and the community, are shaken to the core, after what was supposed to be a night of smiles and laughter, turned into a tragic nightmare.

“It makes me sick to my stomach,” Fonda Fralin, a close friend of Josephson said. “I just can’t believe this could ever happen. I just never imagined this”

Many who knew Samatha Josephson, or as they called her “Sami”, say it’s unreal to think their friend is gone. Others are too brokenhearted to speak.

Elizabeth Bellaire, a friend said, “Sami was just an amazing spirit, she lit up a room.”

Sampson Daigoe, who did not know Josephson tells WIS “It’s pretty gruesome hearing that she got into the wrong car, and then that happened like somebody is capable to do that to somebody.”

Fonda Fralin used to live next door to Josephson during their freshman of college while in the dorms. They were close, she tells WIS.

Samantha Josephson and Fonda Fralin
Samantha Josephson and Fonda Fralin

“Sami was actually one of the first people I met at USC,” Fralin said. “She always knew how to just bring light to every situation. Whenever I was sad, or upset, or worries about anything she would just make me feel so much better. I would always go to her room if there was a problem she just really was a true light and I will miss her so much.”

Nearby where Josephson was last seen, Alex Cosentino and his friends put together a memorial of flowers and candles that sits outside the Five Points fountain.

“We wanted to come out here and start this because we wanted the community to show their respects. This is a family, our school, our community, we wanted to show how much of a family this is,” Cosentino said. “I’d just like to express my deepest sympathies, you know I’m from New Jersey as well, like she is just maybe 45 minutes away.”

As the community mourns, friends say their loved one's legacy will live on, forever.

Allison Barnes, a USC student said, “Think twice before you get into a car and I think that’s a huge legacy that Sami will leave, that even in the face of tragedy, we’ll all carry this with us.”

The University of South Carolina will be providing help throughout the week.

There will be extended walk-in hours, and students can call the counseling center anytime 24/7 at 803-777-5523.

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