An American college student has been found dead after reportedly getting into a vehicle outside a bar she mistakenly thought was her Uber ride.

Police say 21-year-old University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson from New Jersey was last seen on Friday (US time) at about 2am getting into a car outside a bar in Colombia's Five Points entertainment precinct.

Samantha Josephson, 21, was confirmed dead after disappearing in Columbia. Photo / Supplied
Samantha Josephson, 21, was confirmed dead after disappearing in Columbia. Photo / Supplied

On Saturday, authorities announced that her body was found by turkey hunters in a rural spot in nearby Claredon County.

Hours later Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was arrested after being pulled over by officers driving the same car she had been last seen in.

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Friends said Josephson left the Bird Dog bar alone after a night out with friends.

Surveillance images released by the Columbia Police Department show the final image of Samantha before she disappeared. She is seen wearing an orange shirt and black pants, and talking on the phone.

Security footage then appears to show Josephson getting into the black Chevy Impala.

When Josephson's actual Uber driver arrived moments later, the driver cancelled the ride when she didn't show up for the pick-up, witnesses said.

Samantha's blood and her cellphone were allegedly found in the black Chevy Impala, as well as bleach, wet wipes and germicide, according to police.

Police added that the car Josephson allegedly entered had child safety locks in the back that would have prevented someone from getting out.

Police supplied an image of the Chevy on the night of the alleged killing. Photo / Supplied
Police supplied an image of the Chevy on the night of the alleged killing. Photo / Supplied

Columbia Police Department Chief Skip Holbrook said in a news conference Saturday: "She had, in fact, summoned an Uber ride. She was waiting for that Uber ride to come, we believe. She simply mistakenly got into this car thinking it was an Uber ride.

Rowland was arrested driving a black Chevy Impala police say. Photo / Supplied
Rowland was arrested driving a black Chevy Impala police say. Photo / Supplied

"Our hearts are broken, they're broken. There is nothing tougher than to stand before a family and explain how a loved one was murdered. It was gut wrenching, words really can't describe what they're going through."

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Her father confirmed her death in a heart-wrenching post on Saturday morning.

It is with tremendous sadness and of a broken heart that I post this! I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest...

Posted by Seymour Josephson on Saturday, 30 March 2019

"I will miss and love my baby girl for the rest of life," Seymour Josephson, wrote on Facebook.

"I could continue to write about her, but it kills me. I sit here and cry while looking at the picture and write this," he said, referring to a shot of the proud dad and a smiling Samantha posing on a couch, her right arm wrapped around his shoulders.

More than 10,000 posts expressing sympathy soon appeared.