this is "nightline." >> tonight, the rideshare nightmare. a college student's night out taking a deadly turn. tricked, trapped, and murdered. allegedly by the man who pretended to be her uber driver. how police used surveillance cameras to crack the case of a young woman with so much promise. plus, journey through addiction. the singer and star who forgave her husband. it's not just for celebrities. the challenge of sex addiction that many couples face. >> i ran to women. i ran to sex. what i later found out is an addiction. >> fixing what they thought was a perfect marriage. >> i know i'm not the person out there that has gone through something like this. >> now they say stronger than ever. but first here the "nightline" 5.
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story. >> samantha was by herself. she had absolutely no chance. >> reporter: a heart-wrenching vigil for college student samantha josephson. >> she truly was the love of my life. >> reporter: her last moments caught on surveillance footage. getting into what appears to be her uber. but it's a stranger. police say this man, nathaniel rowland, kidnapped and murdered the 21-year-old before discarding her body in a remote wooded area. >> our lives will forever be better for having known her. >> reporter: family and friends remembering the university of south carolina student for her positivity and bright future. >> samantha was going to go to law school. >> reporter: now those dreams gone. and with ridesharing apps more popular than ever with an estimated 75 million riders on uber alone, questions swirling about how passengers can stay safe. it was a typical thursday night here in five points, an area really popular with college students near the university of south carolina campus. samantha josephson and her
friends, they went out here at this bar called the bird dog. >> reporter: after she got separated from the group, she decided to go home. police say she ordered an uber after 2:00 a.m. she can be seen waiting aloan y outside on the surveillance footage. a black chevy impala pulled up and josephson got in. >> we believe she simply mistakenly got into cart thinking it was an uber ride. >> reporter: it was not. the next day worried friends called the police. >> they had not heard from her. the next morning they became worried. about 1:30 they reached out to the police department to report her missing. >> reporter: but it would be too late. >> a body had been found by a couple of people hunting in a field in what was described by the sheriff to us as a wooded area in a very rural part of the county. >> reporter: according to the arrest warrant, josephson suffered multiple wounds to her body including her head, neck, face, upper body, leg, and foot. the coroner releasing her cause of death as due to multiple sharp force injuries.
>> so a critical piece of evidence in this case was surveillance cameras that actually caught her getting into the vehicle, which then allowed the police to i.d. the vehicle. >> reporter: police tracked down the vehicle from that surveillance video and arrested 24-year-old nathaniel rowland at a traffic stop around 3:00 a.m. inside police say they found liquid bleach, cleaning wipes, and window cleaner. >> the chevy impala that was driven by the suspect had a large amount of liquid that we believed to be blood, and once they did a presumptive test it in fact was confirmed to be blood. >> reporter: rowland is now charged with kidnapping and murder. police describing how he was able to carry out his alleged crime. >> further investigation on the suspect vehicle determined the child -- that a child safety seat was in the back and then the child safety locks were activated on the door. that would not allow someone to -- the means of escape from
the back of the suspect vehicle. >> reporter: in a court hearing on sunday, which the alleged murderer did not attend, josephson's mother with this emotional plea. >> his actions were senseless, vile and unacceptable. it sickens us to think that his face was the last thing that my baby girl saw on this earth. does he even know her name? he should never be given the right to walk free again for what he did to my daughter, or be given the opportunity to hurt anyone else. samantha josephson. my daughters name is samantha josephson. don't ever forget her name. samantha josephson. shame on him. >> reporter: today on campus some students saying they'll continue to be vigilant. are you going to take any extra precautions? >> oh, yeah, i'm definitely going to be checking like who's my uber driver, checking the license plates all that stuff. i'm telling all my friends. >> i'm definitely going to track the car. and i'm not calling an uber alone. >> reporter: police have not
said if the killing was targeted but are asking the public to report any encounters with fake rideshare drivers. >> we also would ask anybody that has been in five points, you know, in recent times that has had anybody try to entice him over to a car like in a rideshare capacity. i would ask them to give a call. >> this is not the first time someone has used the mask of rideshare to prey on unsuspecting victims. carla westland thought she was getting into the back seat of an uber when she was approached by nicholas morales one night. >> after i'd been out for a friend's birthday and i remember there were a lot of cars on the street. >> reporter: little did she know he was just posing as a driver. >> i fell asleep, and i woke up, we were parked somewhere in a driveway and he was just banging my head against the seat. >> reporter: she says she was raped and only managed to escape after talking to him for three hours. >> and i just remember slowly getting dressed thinking i can't believe this guy's actually going to let me go. this can't be -- i can't believe that he's actually going to let me go.
>> reporter: morales now faces 27 felony counts in los angeles after posing as an uber driver and allegedly assaulting seven women. in at least one instance using a firearm. in another a knife. >> there's clearly a level of responsibility by the uber rider of checking the tag, checking the photo that it matches the driver, that the car description matches and that he has the correct name as to who you are. >> i think everybody makes that mistake sometimes at end of the night when you just want to go home and you neglect that extra step. >> reporter: authorities say morales would allegedly wait outside clubs in beverly hills and surrounding areas late at night. according to police, he would drive up to women who appeared drunk and ask if they requested a ride. after this arrest abc news security consultant steve gomez gave my colleague kayla whitt worth some tips on how to stay aware as a passenger. >> you don't necessarily want to be waiting at the curb. you're waiting for a rideshare
or even a taxi wait near the building. if there's security you can be kind of close to the security. because no predator is going to want to pick up anybody that's close to security. >> so what should you ask the driver as soon as they pull up? >> you should ask the driver who are you here to pick up? >> if you look at samantha's situation where it's early morning hours, she's alone, that in reality she's just vulnerable. she doesn't go through the check list, does the car match, does the tag match. is it the right driver? does he have my name? it's one of these super sad outcomes. >> reporter: tonight uber calling this an unspeakable crime, saying their hearts are with samantha josephson's family and loved ones, writing that "we've been working with local law enforcement and college campuses across the country to educate the public about how to avoid fake rideshare drivers." they also caution users to use the app to double-check two important details before starting a trip, the driver and the car. >> you guys have to travel together. >> reporter: for josephson's father and the rest of her family, the warnings come too
late. but they're now focused on making sure this doesn't happen to another family. >> what i want to do is educate everybody. not that i'm the smartest person here. but i've gone through this, and i don't want anybody else to ever go through this again. i can't tell you how painful this is. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm victor oquendo in columbia, south carolina. >> our thanks to victor oquendo for that report. and coming up here on "nightline," the celebrity couple opening up on camera about a struggle with sex addiction. >> miss ps she's doing it again. (vo) no cover up spray here... it's the irresistibly fresh scent of febreze air effects. cheaper aerosols can cover up odors, burying the smell in a flowery fog. switch to febreze air effects! febreze eliminates even the toughest odors from the air. and it uses an all-natural propellant to leave behind a pleasant scent you'll love.
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and we're back now with jana kramer and mike caussin, celebrity sweethearts with a seemingly charmed life and perfect family. now opening up about a major struggle in their marriage. a husband's addiction to sex. here's abc's marci gonzalez. >> we met on social media. he favorited something, and i was like who's this guy? >> the rest is pretty much history. >> reporter: actress jana kramer and former nfl player mike caussin seem to have it all. the hollywood couple is all smiles on the red carpet and on social media. those beaming photos showing their loving and growing family. but behind that public image is a deeply personal battle the couple is now sharing for the first time. >> we're not hashtag relationship goals in the way that everything is perfect because it's not. we've had more downs than, you know -- lows than highs. but we're fighting through those things. >> reporter: the most daunting of those lows, mike's struggle
with sex addiction. >> yeah. it manifests in different ways for different people. it doesn't come from me wanting to have sex. it's me feeling a certain way. and my entire life looking back i just used sex as an escape from that. >> reporter: last week on their podcast lying down with jana kramer and mike caussin the former jaguars tight end candidly spoke about their marital troubles. >> what we're going to talk about is something pretty deep. i sought treatment for sex addiction at an inpatient treatment facility. >> reporter: just overt weekend jana who's known for her roles on "one tree hill" -- >> my sexy fighter pilot manager. >> reporter: and "90210." boasting about her husband on instagram in an emotional post. "i'm so proud of his strength and willingness to be a better man for not only his family but for himself." we caught up with jana and mike at i heart media where they record their podcast, talking to them in their first sit-down interview since opening up about their struggle. >> you cheated. >> mm-hmm.
>> what happened? >> where to start? we're honest with one another and said we haven't been perfect, let's be perfect for each other, or try to be. you know, i can may any kind of excuse from me transitioning from the nfl to the quote unquote normal world feeling like i lost my identity because i wasn't a football player anymore. i ran to women. i ran to sex. what kind of flourished, what i later found out is an addiction. >> how many times did you cheat? >> you know, details like that are something that jana and i still kind of keep within our, you know, partnership and our relationship. >> but more than once? >> yes, more than once. yes. >> this therapist says you might be a sex addict. did that sound crazy to you? because it does sound like an excuse. >> no, absolutely, it did. our worlds were just blowing up. i was going to do whatever it took. >> reporter: the retired football player revealing he spent 60 days any residential
treatment facility near nashville and has been in a 12-step program for the nearly three years since. did you believe that he might have a sex addiction? >> i didn't know what sex addiction was. sex addiction is not a very socially accepted disease. there's so much more shame around sex addiction. i love that he's speaking out about it because i think people want to understand it more. >> reporter: jana and mike aren't the only stars who publicly battle sex addiction. charlie sheen, tiger woods, and russell brand are just some who have come forward about their own struggles. >> sex addiction is relatively common. it is absolutely not just the high-profile cases you hear about. it can afflict anybody. and it's particularly increasingly common amongst young people. >> reporter: dr. drew pinsky works with the addicted. >> people come to treatment because they have run-ins with the law, their spouse, their employer, and they are brought in to treatment. and they can't stop. and they're in pain. >> jana, how did you find out that mike cheated on you? >> i noticed kind of a shift with him.
he, you know, was shorter with me on things that i looked at some phone bulls, and i was like -- i saw a lot of numbers that didn't add up. and after? research i found out more things and i was about to play a show, which was so hard to have to like mask that, but we had talked about 20 minutes before the show and you know, he told me things that i had -- you know, that completely rocked my world. and just like what? like this can't be happening. there's no possible way that this is happening. he's my husband and we love each other and we have a daughter and we have a happy life. it felt like a double life. >> while mike was in rehab jana turned to an unlikely place to deal with her emotions. "dancing with the stars." ♪ in my daughter's eyes >> i needed an escape, and it did help me kind of escape the world for a second and just kind of focus on me and my daughter. i didn't have a lot of contact
with him. i wasn't ready to talk to him. and when i did have contact i was very angry. >> you wouldn't take his calls, right? >> they had to basically disconnect my call because i was screaming at him and that wasn't healthy for him. ♪ in my daughter's eyes >> reporter: even dedicating a dance to her daughter jolie. mike admits since leaving rehab he's had relapses. >> what happened? >> the big mantra in any 12-step program is progress, not perfection. i'm trying to learn a new way of living that i've never known existed, that i didn't know how to do. i'm trying to ride a bike, you know, all over again without training wheels, just trying to figure it out. >> reporter: but this week mike hit a major milestone. >> so you're one year sober? >> yes. >> what does that mean to you? >> for me it's hard honestly to
accept only because there still is so much sxan shame behind my actions that i don't want kudos. i don't want a pat on the back for behaving the way i should behave. so it's still emotional. but it's -- i have a hard time. >> there's a tremendous a stigma associated with sex addiction. for somebody to recover from sex addiction usually they have to go to a 12-step program and identify as a sex addict. underneath that is deep shame, and oftentimes people are very reticent to experience that shame. ♪ love was just blind >> reporter: jana's also turning to healing music to help with h healing and inspire others. recently releasing a song called "beautiful lies." ♪ tell me beautiful lies >> i wanted to explain how this made me feel when i first found out about the affairs and the cheating. for me everyone's like why do you want to rehash it in song? because it's therapy for me. and i want people to connect to
my music. i want people to feel something. i know i'm not the only person out there that has gone through something like this. >> reporter: now they're taking their podcast on tour hoping that face-to-face transparency could help others deal with their own imperfect love stories. >> we want to connect with everyone through more than want to show how we've made it work. >> it's another way for us to connect with people who are interested or people who are already listening to the podcast where okay, they hear us vulnerable on the podcast via audio but we want to get in front of them and show them how we really are. >> what is your message then to anyone who is a sex addict or is in a relationship with a sex addict? >> i would just say have grace for yourself. have grace for the addict. and also give it time. if the other person's showing up, give it a chance. i know every single part of him, the good, bad, and ugly.
he knows my good, bad, and ugly. we fought for our marriage. i'm glad we showed up to fight for our marriage. because i love our family and i love what we have together. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm marci gonzalez in los angeles. >> our thanks to marci gonzalez for that report. coming up next here on "nightline," something entirely different on this april fool's day. the day's best pranks. ♪ woo! yeah! it's good! it's refreshing. ♪ at northwestern mutual, this is what our version of financial planksike. tomorrow is important, but she's only seven once. spend your life living. find an advisor at northwesternmutual.com. with the most lobster dishes lobsterfesof the yearred lobster like lobster lover's dream and new ultimate lobsterfest surf and turf. so come lobsterfest today!
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and finally here tonight, the social media stars causing a stir with some april fools' trickery. justin bieber teasing a fake pregnancy with his wife, hailey. tom brady announcing his retirement with a new career path of tweeting. and james comey, the former head of the fbi, hinting at a run for the white house in 2020. all celebrities having fun april fooling their followers on social media. as promised, the best pranks of the day. and that's going to do it for our show for tonight. when you can't stay up with us, you can always catch our full episodes streaming on hulu. good night.