The 21-year-old went missing in Columbia, South Carolina in the United States, around 2am on Friday after a night out.
Chief W.H. Holbrook said during a news conference that Stephenson, a student at the University of SC in Columbia, had summoned a auto from the ride-sharing app and was waiting for it outside a downtown location in Columbia where she had been out with friends sometime before 2 a.m. on Friday.
Josephson's father also posted on Facebook that his daughter "is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten".
President Harris Pastides in a statement earlier today: "It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write these words this morning". I could continue to write about her but it kills me.
Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin said "nothing mitigates the pain of the loss of a child but I have full faith & confidence in the men & women of the Columbia Police Department & SLED as they ably investigate this tragedy".
Just a couple hours earlier, at 1:30 p.m., Columbia police were notified by Josephson's friends that she had been missing since early Friday and didn't answer calls to her cellphone.
Josephson was a senior political science major from Robbinsville, New Jersey.
"It's very scary. It makes you feel uneasy", said Georgia Pinner, who said the incident made her want to stick together with a group of friends visiting from Jacksonville, and makes it less likely she will use a ride share to get home.
Samantha Josephson, a USC student, was reported missing Friday. Her blood and cellphone were later found in the auto.
A photo showing Josephson on the phone is being circulated by police and it is the last known photo before her disappearance.
Pastides also advised students to "look out for one another, be active bystanders".
At the time of this writing, the Columbia Police Department has not confirmed a cause of death.
She has tragically now been confirmed dead by the University of SC.
Holbrook concluded his press conference with condolences to Josephson's family, calling the case simply "gut-wrenching".
"Our prayers are with Samantha's family & friends, & we join the entire Carolina Family in this time of grief", the college's tweet said.
The town's Facebook page released a statement about her death. Shortly after 2 a.m., investigators believe she was seen getting into a black "newer model Chevy Impala", and family and friends had not been able to get in touch with her since then, police said.
"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".