Murdered South Carolina student may have thought car was her Uber ride

Samantha Josephson

Josephson's father also posted on Facebook that his daughter "is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten".

Police also say Rowland had a child seat in the backseat and had child safety locks on the auto doors so Stephenson could not get out.

Authorities say the man who kidnapped and killed a SC college student who mistakenly thought she was getting in her ride share auto was arrested in the same area the next night.

Samantha Lee Josephson, 21, went missing in Columbia, South Carolina early on Friday morning.

Samantha disappeared early Friday after a night out with friends after she got into a black Chevrolet Impala that police believe she thought was an Uber ride she ordered outside of The Bird Dog in Five Points, a popular hang-out spot among USC students. He was being held in the Richland County jail.

Rowland also faces two misdemeanor charges for failing to stop on police command and for simple possession of marijuana, Columbia Police Department Public Information Officer Jennifer Timmons said. Further investigation of the auto showed more blood, her cellphone, bleach, wipes and window cleaner, Holbrook said.

Initially, investigators treated it as a missing person case but it became a murder investigation when Ms Josephson's body was found in secluded woods by two turkey hunters, about 105 kilometres from where she had been picked up.

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Throughout the day on Friday, Samantha's friends and family were unable to get in touch with her and an urgent search was launched. It's never easy to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered. "Words really can't describe what they are going through".

Holbrook says quick DNA testing determined Josephson's blood was in Rowland's vehicle after his arrest Saturday near the same bar district in Columbia where Josephson was kidnapped the night before.

Before she got into the auto, Samantha walked up to another vehicle but realized it was the wrong Uber auto, her father said. The university on Saturday confirmed the death of the student.

'I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life.

"It's only one ME", he wrote in one of the posts. I sit here and cry while looking at the picture and write this.

"Unlike him, Samantha had love within her heart and objective in her life", Marci Josephson said.

Josephson was a senior political science major at the University of SC. They also saw what they believed to be blood throughout the auto, and in the boot of the vehicle.

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