Samantha Josephson went missing on March 29 after getting in a car about 2am following a night out with friends at the Bird Dog bar in Columbia, in the US state of South Carolina.
Her worried roommates reported her missing when they had not heard from her that afternoon and police later found her body in a wooded area just off a dirt road.
Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook told reporters the 21-year-old had ordered an Uber and was waiting for her ride home.
“We believe she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride,” he said.
Mr Holbrook said they have now arrested a man, 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland, in relation to the death after police found what appeared to be blood in his car.
He will be charged with murder and kidnapping in connection to the death of the University of South Carolina student.
The student’s father posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook confirming her death on Saturday morning.
“I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of my life,” he said.
“Samantha is no longer with us but she will not be forgotten. It is extremely hard to write this and post it but I love her with all my heart.
“I could continue to write about her but it kills me. I sit here and cry while looking at the picture and [writing] this.”
Students urged to remain vigilant
The University of South Carolina released a statement following the tragic news Ms Josephson’s body had been found.
It urged people to look out for one another, travel in groups and stay together.
“Times like these leave me searching for words of wisdom and comfort,” University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides said in the statement.
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