COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX 29) - Police arrested a man Saturday in connection with the death of a college student who apparently got into the suspect's car thinking it was her Uber ride.
Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was arrested early Saturday after a police officer noticed him driving a black Chevy Impala, the same type of car that Samantha Josephson got into as she left a bar shortly after 2 a.m. Friday in the city of Columbia's 5 Points area, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said at a news conference.
Rowland tried to run, but the officer was able to catch up to him, Holbrook said. When they returned to the car, he said, the officer saw what appeared to be blood in the car.
"We believe ... that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride," Holbrook said of Josephson, noting that surveillance video captured her getting into the car. "She opened the door and got into it and departed with the suspect driving."
“The child safety locks were activated on the door that would not allow someone the means to escape,” Holbrook added.
Police said they found bleach, wipes and other cleaning materials in the car and believed the suspect was going to clean up the scene.
University President Harris Pastides said in a letter Saturday to the university community that "Our prayers are with the family and friends of Samantha Josephson following the devastating news of her death. Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort."
Holbrook said hunters found Josephson's body late Friday afternoon off a dirt road in rural Clarendon County, which is about 65 miles southeast of Columbia.
Josephson's father posted on Facebook that his daughter "is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten."
Friends of Josephson have since started a GoFundMe on behalf of her family to help with funeral expenses.
Josephson was a senior political science major from Robinsville, New Jersey.
Rowland will be charged with murder and kidnapping, Rowland said. It was unclear if he had an attorney.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.