FULTON, Md. (WUSA) -- "This is Sarina's first day of school! Come on, get up!"
For 22 month old Sarina Basu, September 8, 1992 was a day of new beginnings. The first day of preschool. Her parents, Steve and Pam could hardly sleep the night before.
"Sarina was very excited, and Pam was talking to her," Steve says.
The daughter they adopted from India was about to have another milestone, if her mom Pam could just get her in the car. Dad Steve rolled on it all.
"They got in the car. They went. I stopped taping," he says.
Steve and the new babysitter were going to meet Pam and Sarina at her new school.
"The first intersection I saw a shoe. So, I told Deeda that's kind of weird. There's a shoe on the street."
The same shoe Pam Basu, a 34-year-old mother and scientist, wore that morning. She would only drive 300 feet from her Savage, Maryland home that day before she was attacked by two men at a stop sign who wanted her 1990 BMW.
"At that stop sign, Rodney Solomon runs over and punches Pam through the window," says James Lilley.
He gives a moment-by-moment account of that chilling encounter in a new book called "Fatal Destiny."
"Bernard Miller, who was standing in that median, ran across to help Solomon get Pam out of the car," Lilley says.
A desperate fight ensued. Solomon and Miller eventually forced Pam out of her car, and onto the ground. Sarina screamed from the back.
In a frantic effort to save her daughter, Pam jumped up to reach for Sarina through the window. But, her arm got tangled in the driver's side seat belt, and soon, she would be dragged by the two men who sped off in her car.
"Pam is trying every effort to stay by this car. And, she's screaming 'My baby! My baby!' They hit the dip in the road, and that's when one eyewitness said he saw her tumble forward and her head strike the ground," says James Lilley.
The grisly trail would last for nearly two miles. While Solomon and Miller drag Pam to her death, they stopped at an intersection on Gorman Road, stepped over Pam's body and tossed her daughter, Sarina out on the road. Luckily, someone driving behind them is able to get the toddler to safety. But, no one could save Pam.
"It was awful. It was very horrific and that's the only word to describe it," says James Lilley's wife, Jody.
She was the first police officer on the scene. Now retired, Jody says she nearly slipped on all of the body fluids and blood that covered that stretch of Gorman Road.
Pam Basu's mangled body was still wrapped in barbed wired from the fence that Solomon and Miller drove into to try to dislodge her from the car.
Steve Basu says, "Had I been on my game, I probably would have picked up something."
Steve did pick up something that morning while taping what was supposed to be a happy day. In the background, while Pam puts Sarina in her car seat, Rodney Solomon walks by followed by Bernard Miller. Steve had unknowingly captured his wife's killers on camera.
"Maybe because it was the nature of the day I got careless. It was such a joyous thing, you know, and Pam was so happy. And, it just kind of, that's one part that still makes me feel bad from time to time," he says.
Pam's two killers were captured after a 26 mile reign of terror. They even stopped at a car wash in Carroll County so they could wash away Pam's remains. The case shook the Washington DC area and the nation.
Rodney Solomon and Bernard Miller were arrested and put on trial. Miller thought for sure he would get away with murder.
James Lilley says, "I escorted Bernard Miller out of the courtroom, and he was smiling and looking back at us and saying, 'Well, I'll be walking soon.' And, I asked him, 'What do you mean?' And, he said, 'They're gonna find me not guilty.'"
"These guys had no remorse. No sense of what they had done," says Steve Basu.
Solomon and Miller were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Steve and Sarina were left to live life without their beloved Pam.
"It was lives that were destroyed. And it took a long time for all of us to, you know, get moving again," Steve says.
Nearly 20 years later, Steve still struggles with the senseless violence that stole his wife, gripped a community and left broken families in its wake. But, he also clings to the good memories.
Steve knows Pam would be proud of their daughter Sarina, now a young woman who will graduate from college with a degree in Industrial Engineering later this year.
And, he hopes his wife will be remembered for more than one tragic moment in time.
"She made everybody laugh, yet she was probably the smartest person in the room, and she just acted like a kid! And that, I wish more people knew that part of her. A really dedicated person both in her work and in her life. A really loving mother with a lot of heart. She had a lot of heart," he says.
Pam's sisters stepped in to help Steve raise Sarina.
This crime was so prolific that then President George H. W. Bush signed into law the statue that defined the term "carjacking" back in October 1992. It is now a federal offense.
Rodney Solomon is being held at Cumberland's North Branch Correctional Institution with no chance of parole.
Bernard Miller, who was 17 at the time he was convicted, is being held in that same maximum security facility. He got a lesser sentence because Solomon was driving while Pam was being dragged to death and because he was 16 at the time she died.
Miller's efforts to get parole have failed to date.
Written and reported by Lesli Foster & Stephanie Wilson
9 News Now and wusa9.com