Chilling surveillance video shows South Carolina student entering car of accused killer

Gabe Cavallaro and John Bacon and Mollie R. Simon

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Surveillance video shows a University of South Carolina student climbing into the vehicle of the person accused of killing her, believing it was an Uber vehicle she had called for minutes earlier.

The video shows Samantha Josephson, 21, on her phone near a crowd gathered outside a bar in Columbia's Five Points entertainment district at around 2 a.m. Friday. A Chevy Impala rolls up, and Josephson skips a few steps to the street and climbs into the back seat.

“She had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride,” Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said. “She simply mistakenly got into this car, thinking it was an Uber.”

Josephson's body was found the next day by turkey hunters in a wooded area more than 60 miles away. The driver who police said picked Josephson up, Nathaniel Rowland, was found with his car early Saturday morning.

Holbrook said blood found in the car matched Josephson's blood. He said the child safety locks were engaged, so Josephson would have been unable to flee once she realized her mistake.

Josephson's death was the result of "multiple sharp force injuries," according to a Monday press release from the State Law Enforcement Division.

U of SC students and loved ones of Samantha Josephson attend a candlelight vigil in honor of her life at Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center Sunday, March 31, 2019.

Rowland, 24, was held on charges of murder and kidnapping. At a hearing Sunday, Josephson's mother spoke of the pain her family was enduring.

"There are no words to describe the incredible pain he's caused," Marci Josephson said of the suspect. "Samantha was bubbly, loving, kind and full of life. He's taken away a piece of our heart."

Josephson was set to graduate in May and planned on attending law school at Drexel University in Philadelphia in the fall. About 500 people gathered Sunday night for a vigil to honor her life.

Several friends and loved ones, including her father, Seymour, remembered an energetic young woman who loved her friends and family and skillfully balanced her social life with her studies.

Seymour Josephson said he wants others to learn from what happened to his daughter and be more careful using ride-hailing services. He said he wants to see those services improve safety for clients. 

"I don’t want anyone else to go through this again," he said. “What we learned is … you guys have to travel together. If there’s two of you, something is less likely to happen. Samantha was by herself – she had absolutely no chance. None.”

Services for Josephson are set for Wednesday in her native New Jersey. A $5,000 GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for funeral and other expenses had raised almost $50,000 in pledges Monday.

Post by edgarcastro15.

Bacon reported from McLean, Va.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chilling surveillance video shows South Carolina student entering car of accused killer