OXFORD, Miss. – Police have reportedly taken a 22-year-old man into custody in connection with the murder of a young female college student.

Authorities discovered the body of 21-year-old Ally Kostial by a lake in Harmontown, Mississippi, which is approximately 20 miles from the university campus. She had last been spotted alive outside of a bar on Friday night, police said.

Police: college student shot 8 times, suspect in custody

Officials say Kostial’s body was found with multiple gunshot wounds. (Facebook)


Her lifeless body had been found by an officer on patrol. The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department said that “foul play” was apparent and the student had been shot multiple times. 

On Monday afternoon, police arrested Brandon Theesfeld in connection with Kostial’s murder. Officials now say that the 21-year-old woman had been shot eight times.

The body was discovered in an area by Sardis Lake. The area of the lake where she was found was referred to as Buford’s Ridge and is apparently a hot spot for college students. 

“Sardis is a really popular spot for a lot of students to go during the day, on the water or just hang out around there,” Ole Miss senior Kelly Randell said in an interview with WMC-TV.

Police: college student shot 8 times, suspect in custody

Officials discovered Kostial’s body on the north side of Sardis Lake, over 20 miles from the Oxford campus. (Google Maps)


Theesfeld’s name appeared next to the word “murder” on the jail docket. He was booked into Lafayette County Jail on Monday. Security footage showed Kostial outside of an Oxford bar on Friday night, but she did not enter the building, police said. She reportedly went back to her residence around midnight but then must have left the house, officials said. Her roommates were unaware that she had left in the middle of the night.

Kostial’s father took to Facebook to post that his daughter had been the victim of a brutal murder.

“Yesterday, Saturday afternoon, we were visited by the Sunset Hills MO Police who communicated to us that our beautiful dear Alexandria (Ally) Kostial was the victim of a homicide,” he wrote. “As of now, it is believed the crime happened in Lafayette County, MS.”

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Police: college student shot 8 times, suspect in custody


That post has since been removed.

Kostial was described as a “beautiful, beautiful person” by her friends and family.

“She quite possibly was the nicest human being that I’ve ever met,” a friend said. “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.”


Multiple agencies are working to try and piece together what happened. Fox reported that deputies with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab are “actively working” the case, in addition to the University of Mississippi Police Department and the Oxford Police Department.

Officials, however, have stated that they are no longer releasing pertinent details of the case in order to keep the investigation close to the vest to secure a conviction.