The man accused of killing 21-year-old University of Mississippi student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial was allegedly wearing bloody clothing and had a weapon in his truck when he was apprehended by authorities earlier this week.
On Monday, July 22, days after Kostial’s body was found abandoned by a lake 20 miles away from campus, authorities arrested 22-year-old Brandon Theesfeld, another Ole Miss student, in connection to her death, and have since charged him with murder.
While details regarding the relationship between the two, if there was one, remain unclear, authorities have released details regarding Theesfeld’s arrest on Monday. By studying Theesfeld’s cellphone and credit card usage, investigators were able to track him to a gas station in South Memphis, Tennessee, according to local outlet Fox 13. After an officer on patrol noticed a pickup truck matching the description of the vehicle police had previously said the suspect was driving, authorities converged on the scene, blocking Theesfeld from leaving and placing him under arrest, the outlet reports.
At the time of his arrest, Theesfeld was wearing clothes that were stained with blood, unnamed law enforcement sources told Fox 13. Authorities are also said to have recovered a weapon that had been inside his truck.
Theesfeld, a student at the university’s School of Business Administration, walked into the gas station wearing an Ole Miss t-shirt, according to surveillance footage shared online by Fox 13 reporter Greg Coy.
University officials released a statement Tuesday mourning Kostial’s passing and announcing that Theesfeld had been suspended from the university in light of his arrest.
“Ally was an engaged member of our community with friends across our campus and a promising future,” their statement reads, in part. “The university will support the Kostial family in every way we can during this traumatic time.”
Theesfeld had had prior brushes with the law, having been arrested in April 2017 for using a fake I.D. and being intoxicated in public, according to Fox 13’s report. He was involved in another case, but the records related to it have been expunged, a spokesperson for the Oxford Police Department told the outlet.
Kostial, a 21-year-old native of St. Louis, Missouri, was taking summer classes and had a job teaching fitness classes when she was killed, according to a Facebook post written by her father, Keith Kostial.
Kostial was last seen on surveillance footage captured Friday, July 19, which shows her stopping at the door of a bar that night but not going in, according to WLBT, an NBC affiliate based in Jackson, Mississippi. Her body was found in a remote area known for fishing the following morning, the outlet reports. She had been shot eight times.
Theesfeld, who is currently in custody at the Lafayette County Jail, is scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing on Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.
Following Theesfeld’s arrest, his father, Daniel Theesfeld, released a statement to WMC-TV proclaiming his son’s innocence.
“I know my son is innocent. And I have reasons to believe that I can’t share anything now,” he said. “But I would ask everybody to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”
After her passing, Kostial’s loved ones remembered her as a kind, friendly person, according to a report from KMOV, a CBS affiliate station out of St. Louis, Missouri.
“Ally was just very fun and outgoing, very friendly girl really didn’t have any enemies in life,” one friend, Claudia Swyres, told the outlet.
“She was up for anything,” said another, Marry Norris. “She just wanted to live life to the fullest. She would walk into a room and the whole room would light up.
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