Three years before University of Mississippi student Ally Kostial was found riddled with bullets near a remote lake outside campus, she was happily posing for pictures with the man now accused of her murder.
In the images found on social media, Kostial and Brandon Theesfeld are smiling for the camera with their arms around each other, a stark contrast from the brutal way authorities believe the pair’s relationship came to a sudden end over the weekend.
Theesfeld, 22, is now facing murder charges after he was apprehended Monday at a South Memphis gas station; authorities tracked him to the location using his cell phone and credit card. Law enforcement sources have said that Theesfeld had blood on his clothes and that a weapon was found in his car, WHBQ-TV reports.
But the images posted to social media show a happier time for Kostial and Theesfeld, who reportedly dated on and off over several years while both were students at Ole Miss.
In one image, posted on Dec. 21, 2016, they are seen wearing leis with their arms around each other, People reports.
In another, posted the same day, they are seen standing close together. Kostial is wearing a dress and Theesfeld is wearing a sport coat. On his jacket, there’s a sticker with the letters of her sorority, Alpha Phi.
In the days after the 21-year-old marketing student’s death, friends are revealing disturbing details about the relationship between the pair.
Rex Ravita, who once lived in the same dorm as Theesfeld, told The Daily Beast that Theesfeld was a “misogynist” who often talked poorly about women.
“He led her on A LOT, enough to where it could be considered emotional abuse,” he said. “But he definitely had a violent streak.”
Another friend, who wished to remain anonymous, told the news organization Kostial often talked about how “crazy aggressive” Theesfeld was.
“I don’t know how many times she called me about him. About how he was treating her and about how he acted when they were together,” the friend said.
Those sentiments were echoed by another friend who claimed in a Twitter post that Theesfeld had harassed her for years.
“He harassed her for years, took advantage of her for years, I spent countless nights holding Ally close drying her tears about this monster for years. You deserve hell you disgusting excuse for a human. #JusticeForAlly You will never diminish her sunshine,” the post said.
Kostial was last seen alive Friday night as surveillance footage captured her walking away from a bar near campus as she looked down at her phone. Her roommate said Kostial came home around midnight, but must have gone out again sometime later, Fox News reports.
Her body was found the next morning by the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department during a routine patrol at Buford’s Ridge, a remote area with a fishing camp known to both locals and college students about 20 miles from campus.
A source close to the investigation said she had been shot eight times, according to WLBT.
Authorities have not released any details about a possible motive, however, Kostial’s cousin suggested on Facebook that rejection could have played a role in her death.
“If you ever wonder why women avoid rejecting you, this is why. We don’t know if you’re going to be cool about it or shoot us eight times and throw our body near a lake,” the cousin wrote, according to KTVI.
Theesfeld, who was a student in the School of Business Administration, has been suspended from university.
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