A University of Mississippi student has been arrested and charged for allegedly murdering a 21-year-old sorority sister whose bullet-riddled body was found near a lake about 20 minutes away from campus.
Brandon Theesfeld, a 22-year-old senior, was arrested Monday afternoon and is currently in custody at the Lafayette County Detention Center, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to The Daily Beast.
He was charged Tuesday at the Lafayette County Courthouse, just days after Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, an Alpha Phi sorority sister and rising senior at Ole Miss, was found dead by a deputy during his Saturday morning patrol near Sardis Lake.
The University of Mississippi said Theesfeld, a student in the School of Business Administration, has been suspended.
“I think that he should be processed to the fullest extent of the law,” her childhood friend, Claudia Swyres, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “What he did to Ally was just terrible.”
According to her father, Keith Kostial, the sorority sister was attending summer school and teaching fitness classes on campus before she became “the victim of a homicide.”
Kostial was last seen Friday night outside a bar near campus. Surveillance footage outside the car allegedly shows the 21-year-old stopping at the bar door before going inside, turning around, and walking out of the camera’s view.
The 21-year-old’s roommates said she returned home around midnight, according to WLBT. At some point, Kostial left the house again, unbeknownst to her friends. It was not immediately clear why Kostial left her house.
On Saturday, one officer was completing his routine patrol at Buford’s Ridge, a remote area with a fishing camp both locals and college students frequent to ride their ATVs when the lake’s water is low.
There, according to authorities, the deputy found Kostial’s body, which had eight bullet wounds. Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy previously told The Daily Beast that an autopsy for Kostial had “been requested” but the results have not been made public yet.
The University of Mississippi confirmed Kostial was studying marketing at the college’s school of business administration and minoring in management information systems. Set to graduate next spring, Kostial was a member of the school’s Alpha Phi sorority chapter and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity.
“She quite possibly was the nicest human being that I’ve ever met,” Anna Pasco, one of Kostial’s friends, told WMC. “It’s just hard for me because all I can think about when I see her face is what she went through, what she was thinking, what she was saying. It’s hard.”
The 21-year-old was also one of the founding members of the school’s golf club and served as its president, a school spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast.
“From road tripping down to Oxford to being my Alpha Phi sister I will cherish all the memories we had together,” Kassidy Desnoyer, her longtime friend and sorority sister wrote on Facebook Sunday. “She was the brightest light and always had a smile on her face. She truly was a ray of sunshine.”
According to his Facebook, the 22-year-old is originally from Fort Worth, Texas.
“I know my son is innocent. And I have reasons to believe that I can’t share anything now,” his father, Daniel Theesfeld, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “But I would ask everybody to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”
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