Ole Miss Student Seen in Photos With Fellow Undergrad Suspected of Murdering Her

Ally Kostial, the Ole Miss college student whose body was found Saturday, and her alleged killer, Brandon Theesfield, had known each other since 2016

Ally Kostial, Brandon Theesfeld

New clues are emerging in the case of the University of Mississippi student who was allegedly killed by a fellow student as pictures of the two from 2016 have recently surfaced.

On Saturday morning, the body of 21-year-old University of Mississippi student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, of St. Louis, Missouri, was found near a lake in Harmontown, about 20 miles from the campus where the popular sorority member was studying marketing at the university’s School of Business Administration and teaching fitness classes.

The man suspected of fatally shooting her, Brandon Theesfeld, 22, of Texas, was booked into the Lafayette County Jail shortly before 4 p.m. on Monday.

Like Kostial, Theesfield was a student at the university’s School of Business Administration. He has since been suspended from the university, Rod Guajardo, Associate Director of Strategic Communications at the University of Mississippi, tells PEOPLE.

As the promising young woman’s family and friends grapple with her untimely death, investigators are trying to piece together how the two knew each other — and how it went so very wrong.

Pictures obtained by multiple outlets including local station WREG, Today and the New York Post show the pair in seemingly happier times.

Brandon Theesfeld & Ally Kostial
Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP; Facebook

In one of the pictures, posted to social media on Dec. 21, 2016, they are seen smiling into the camera with their arms around each other and wearing leis.

Ally Kostial, Brandon Theesfeld

In another picture, also posted on Dec. 21, 2016, the two are photographed standing close together and facing each other. She is wearing a dress and he is wearing a sport coat with a sticker bearing the letters of her sorority, Alpha Phi.

Ally Kostial, Brandon Theesfeld
Ally Kostial, at left, and Brandon Theesfeld. Ally Kostial/VSCO

Whatever their relationship was, it soured at some point, according to a friend of the victim’s wrote on Twitter.

“He harassed her for years, took advantage of her for years,” the friend claimed. “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.”

Kostial was last seen Friday night, stopping at the door of a local bar but not entering it, WLBT reports.

Her remains were found by officers on routine patrol at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

She was shot eight times, according to investigators.

Ally Kostial

Her father, Keith Kostial, opened up about the tragedy in a Sunday Facebook post.

“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,” the post reads. “As of now, it is believed the crime happened in Lafayette County, MS.”

Kostial was a 2016 graduate of Lindbergh High School in St. Louis.

A friend and sorority sister, Kassidy Desnoyer, penned a tribute to Kostial on Facebook.

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“I’m so grateful that I got to know Ally throughout high school and we shared so many memorable experiences at Ole Miss together,” Desnoyer wrote. “From road tripping down to Oxford to being my Alpha Phi sister, I will cherish all the memories we had together. She was the brightest light and always had a smile on her face. She truly was a ray of sunshine. My heart and condolences go out to the Kostial family.”

Theesfeld has yet to appear in court. It is unclear if he is represented by an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

He remains held in the Lafayette County Detention Center without bond.

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