Justin Waiters coached suspect Nathaniel David Rowland when he played Amateur Athletic Union basketball as a senior at East Clarendon High School.
“This doesn’t sound like the person we know and love,” Waiters told the Greenville News.
Waiters said the last time he saw Rowland was around a year ago and called him a “great kid” who is part of a “very involved family.” He described Rowland as polite and hardworking. Waiters said his work ethic led him to pick Rowland for the role of captain of the basketball team.
“When his father spoke and said that’s not the son he raised, I have to second that,” Waiters said of Rowland. “That is not the Nate everyone knows and loves.”
Rowland’s cousin, Dominique Rhodes, echoed Waiters comments saying she was surprised to hear he was arrested.
“I just wish they could really get to the bottom of the investigation,” Rhodes said.
Police said 21-year-old Josephson was kidnapped and killed early Friday after she got into a car that she mistakenly believed was an Uber. The child safety locks were activated in the car and Josephson couldn’t escape, officials said.
Rowland has been charged with Josephson’s kidnapping and murder. Josephson’s body was found Friday afternoon in Clarendon County, about 65 miles from the state’s capital of Columbia.
Josephson’s family said she planned to attend law school at Drexel University in Philadelphia after graduation in May. Her boyfriend, Greg Corbishley, said at a vigil on Tuesday night that the college student “was the love of my life,” ABC News reported.
“I see why she loved all you guys so much,” Corbishley said. “I saw myself 10 years from now coming back to this place with her.”
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and the Associated Press contributed to this report.