“It’s never easy to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered”
Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was apprehended and later charged with killing 21-year-old Samantha Josephson as well as kidnapping her.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook confirmed the charges during a news conference on Saturday evening local time (Sunday morning GMT).
He said: “This is a homicide investigation.”
Mr Holbrook then gave details about the investigation and the circumstances leading up to Rowland’s arrest.
Officers were first alerted when turkey hunters found a body in a Clarendon County field about 40ft away from a dirt road.
It was reported around the same time police publicised that Samantha was missing and details about the car she was last seen getting into.
About 3am on Saturday, an officer spotted a black Chevrolet Impala in the Five Points area that matched the vehicle’s description and pulled it over for a traffic stop.
After the policeman asked the driver to get out of the car, he fled.
The officer gave chase and later took the suspect, later identified as Rowland, into custody.
Returning to the car, the officer found blood in the boot – later determined to be that of New Jersey native Samantha – and the student’s mobile.
It was after this find that the body recovered from near the dirt road was confirmed to be that of Samantha.
An investigation later determined that Rowland was driving the Impala on Friday morning and pulled up near the Bird Dog bar at 2.09am, close to where Samantha was stood waiting for an Uber.
Mr Holbrook added: “Our hearts are broken. It’s never easy to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered.
“Words can’t describe what they’re going through.”
Samanta’s dad, Seymour, paid tribute to his daughter on Facebook.
He wrote: “I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of my life.”