Video shows last time Ally Kostial seen alive
The last time she was seen alive, Alexandria “Ally” Kostial was leaving a crowded bar, walking slowly with her cell phone in her hand.
By the next morning, Kostial, a 21-year-old Ole Miss student, would be found dead. A classmate at the University of Mississippi, Brandon Theesfeld, 22, of Fort Worth, was arrested on a murder charge.
In a surveillance video released by Oxford police on Thursday, Kostial can be seen coming out of the front door of a bar in The Square, a historic downtown entertainment district. It is the last known time she was spotted alive, police said.
In the video, she comes out of the front door of the bar, taking a quick right and crossing through a street filled with people talking. She avoids the crowd and continues alone down a long stretch of empty sidewalk. She frequently glances down at her phone as she carries a casual pace.
And then, when she reaches the end of the block, she disappears from view.
There were plenty of unanswered questions days after Kostial’s body was found and Theesfeld was charged with killing her.
Theesfeld retained two high-profile defense attorneys, cousins Anthony and Steve Farese, to represent him. Anthony Farese on Thursday declined to discuss the case in detail. He said his firm was “diligently investigating this matter right now.”
Theesfeld’s first attorney, Swayze Alford, and the Lafayette County District Attorney’s Office agreed on Monday that bond in the case would remain temporarily undecided. Alford also will continue to represent Theesfeld.
Media reports indicated Kostial had been shot eight times, and preliminary autopsy results released Wednesday confirmed she died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office.
Photos of Kostial and Theesfeld posing together have emerged on social media, suggesting they knew each other.
Twitter user @WhatchaaDonnDo, who posted a photo of herself and Kostial after her death, tweeted that “he harassed her for years, took advantage of her for years.”
However, Theesfeld’s father, Daniel Theesfeld, told Memphis’ WMC-TV, “I know my son is innocent” and “I would ask everybody to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.” He declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday.
After Kostial was captured on video in The Square on Friday night, she was found the next morning by an on-patrol Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department deputy, according to Mississippi news reports. Her body was recovered near Sardis Lake in Harmontown.
Authorities arrested Theesfeld on Monday at a gas station in south Memphis after tracking his cell phone and credit card, according to Memphis’ WHBQ-TV. Law enforcement officials said Theesfeld’s clothes had blood on them, WHBQ-TV reported, and there was a weapon inside his truck.
Theesfeld attended Fort Worth Country Day high school but did not graduate, according to school records. An Ole Miss spokesman said he was suspended from the college after he was arrested.
Kostial’s father, Keith Kostial, wrote on Facebook that his daughter was a 2016 graduate of Lindbergh High School in St. Louis. She was working toward a bachelor’s degree in marketing, he wrote.
A GoFundMe honoring Kostial that says funds will go to her family has raised more than $21,500, exceeding a $10,000 goal as of Thursday morning.
Staff writer Emerson Clarridge contributed to this report.