It was last Friday, starting at 2 in the morning, when Samantha Josephson decided to separate from her friends and leave the bar of Bird Dog alone. Then, according to the police, the 21-year-old university student called Uber.
Josephson had been Thursday night at the Five Points district, in downtown Columbia, a popular nightlife center, on the campus of the University of South Carolina. Surveillance images show you how to walk outside, wait on the sidewalk and keep the phone.
At 2:09 a black Chevrolet Impala entered the parking lot next to him. When pedestrians pass, Josephson climbed into the interior.
But Impala was not his Uber, but the police determined late and the man who drove her was never taken home.
Twelve hours later, Josephson's friends informed her about her disappearance.
Two hours later, the authorities had been found dead.
"Our hearts are broken," said the head of the Columbia Police, Skip Holbrook, at a weekend press conference, shortly after meeting Josephson's family, who had traveled to the city since from New Jersey. "They've broken. There's nothing harder than being in front of a family and explaining how a loved one was killed."
The police arrested Nathaniel D. Rowland, 24, for charges of murder and kidnapping, Holbrook said.
Josephson's kidnapping and the mystery surrounding his death hit the campus community who called home for four years and immediately encouraged his friends, strangers and university officials to defend surveillance while using the services of shared trip
In a message, the university encouraged students to use campus shuttles and "practice best practices when using services such as Uber and Lyft." Match the description of the vehicle and the registration with the information of the application, according to the message and always ask the driver. the name of the person who is supposed to collect before climbing inland.
During his press conference, the chief of police said the authorities believed that Josephson went to Impala "wrongly" because he thought it was his Uber trip.
The following morning, Josephson's colleagues at the Columbia Courtroom were concerned when he was not presented for breakfast. Rich Vascovich, the restaurant's operating partner, told a newspaper that Josephson's friends called him to ask him if he had presented himself at work. They had not even heard her talk.
"This type of closure allowed us that something was not correct," said Vascovich in the State.
At 1:30 p.m. On Friday, Josephson's friends called on the police to inform him of his disappearance. Officials responded to Hub on Campus in downtown Columbia, a complex of apartments where Josephson's flatmates had been waiting for him to return home. They had been searching and calling without success.
The authorities began collecting information about Josephson's last known host and asked for photographs that could be distributed to the media. They found surveillance material and published information about what Josephson was wearing tonight: black jeans, lightweight shoes and orange cloak.
Around this same time, about 70 miles away in a city in the county of Clarendon called New Zion, two turkey hunters moved through an isolated and wooded 40-foot dirt road when they go discover a body
Quickly, the chief of the police said, the authorities of Colombia and the deputies of the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office realized that the woman that the hunters had found in the forest was Josephson. His clothes agreed.
The university later confirmed the death of Josephson in a statement. "The times that leave me in search of words of wisdom and comfort," said President of the USC, Harris Pastides, in the statement. "However, I have the consolation that the Carolina family is here to embrace those who hurt."
Authorities shared vehicle information for the suspected Impala and alerted the community. Saturday morning, at three in the morning, at 24 hours after Josephson disappeared, a patrol officer saw a black Impala on two islands at the Five Points.
The officer retreated from the Impala, approached the driver and asked him to leave the vehicle, said Holbrook, the head of the police. The driver fled but was arrested.
Within the Impala, the authorities found an "important amount" of blood in the trunk and the passenger's seat, the confirmed trials were Josephson. The police also found their telephone, window cleaner, liquid bleach and antibacterial wipes. Child safety locks had been activated in the back seat.
The authorities identified the driver as Rowland. He is arrested in the detention center of Alvin S. Glenn. It is not clear whether a lawyer has obtained, according to the prison records.
The head of the police said Rowland had previously lived in the area where Josephson's body was found, a place he described as "very difficult to arrive unless you knew how to get there."
The homicide investigation continues, said Holbrook. He gave priority to Josephson's family, he said, that he approached Columbia. The head of the police called to their meeting with them "outlandish".
"Words can not, of course, describe what is happening," he said, adding that it was important for him that the family understood the gravity of the authorities. "We are parents, mothers, brothers, sisters, children and daughters. It's as personal as us and it is always a priority."
"I assured them that we will be with them for every step of the way until this is done," Holbrook said.
Those who knew Josephson well have said in local news that he was kind, dear, and warm. They called him "Sami". They told the State that he was the sister of the Alpha Gamma Delta brotherhood and had planned to graduate in May before going to Drexel University in the fall for the law school.
"It was as sweet as it may be," Vascovich told the State. "She was, frankly, one of those people who liked to be around."
School and government officials in the hometown of Josephson, Robbinsville, N.J., issued shock and pain statements. On Facebook, the 21-year-old father said: "With a tremendous sadness and a broken heart," her daughter "was no longer with us."
"It's very difficult to write it and publish it, but I love it all," he wrote, a message accompanied by a photo of his daughter with his arm around the neck. "I could continue writing about her, but she kills me."