Surveillance video shows the fateful moment a New Jersey co-ed left a South Carolina bar and got into what she thought was her Uber — leaving her at the mercy of a coldblooded killer, authorities said.
The driver trapped Samantha Josephson, 21, of Robbinsville inside his vehicle using the car’s child-safety locks and later murdered her, authorities have said.
The chilling footage shows Josephson jogging off the curb of a Columbia, SC, sidewalk early Friday after a night out with friends to meet an approaching Chevy Impala that she mistook for her ride-share.
Josephson — who was studying political science at the University of South Carolina — is seen opening the rear passenger-side door, climbing in and closing it.
Her actual Uber did arrive at some point, but the driver left when he couldn’t find Josephson.
“She simply, mistakenly got into the car thinking it was an Uber ride,” said Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook on Sunday.
The car that Josephson entered belonged to Nathaniel David Rowland, Holbrook said.
Rowland allegedly killed Josephson and dumped her body in a wooded area near his rural home about 65 miles from Columbia. Her body was found by two hunters on Friday afternoon, authorities said.
Officials have refused to divulge how Josephson died, although police records show she had injuries to her head and neck, according to arrest warrants released Sunday.
After the discovery of her body, cops set up a dragnet in the area and pulled over Rowland on Saturday.
The 24-year-old man took off running but was nabbed after a short chase, authorities said.
Josephson’s blood was found inside his car’s trunk and elsewhere in the vehicle — along with her cellphone and a stash of bleach, window cleaner and cleaning wipes, Holbrook said.Rowland, charged with kidnapping and murder, declined to appear at a court hearing Sunday.
But Josephson’s mother, Marci, was there.
“It sickens us to think that his face was the last thing that my baby girl saw on this earth,” the stricken mother told a judge, according to The State newspaper. “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 given the opportunity to hurt anybody else. My daughter’s name was Samantha Josephson.
“Don’t ever forget her name. Samantha Josephson. Shame of him.”