Here’s what we know so far about the death of Alexandria “Ally” Kostial
The father of the Fort Worth man accused of killing his classmate at Ole Miss is claiming his son’s innocence as more details about the homicide — and the relationship between the suspect and the victim — come to light.
Daniel Theesfeld, the father of 22-year-old Brandon Theesfeld, told Memphis’ WMC-TV, “I know my son is innocent” and “I have reasons to believe that I can’t share anything now.”
Brandon Theesfeld was charged Monday with murder in the death of Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, 21, a University of Mississippi student from St. Louis. Media reports indicated Kostial’s body was found about 20 miles from the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Mississippi, and she had been shot eight times. Preliminary autopsy results were released Wednesday that confirm she died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office.
Daniel Theesfeld, who’s a doctor in Fort Worth, declined to comment when reached over the phone Wednesday morning and directed the Star-Telegram to an assistant at his company, The Pain Management Center of Texas in Fort Worth. The assistant didn’t want to speak about the case but said Daniel was in the process of meeting with his son and legal team. He said Daniel had been advised to not make any statements.
Photos of Brandon Theesfeld and Kostial posing together have emerged on social media. And Kostial’s cousin shared a post on Facebook that implied Kostial had rejected Theesfeld, writing, “If you ever wonder why women avoid rejecting you, this is why,” according to St. Louis’ KTVI-TV.
One Twitter user, who posted a photo of herself and Kostial after her death, said “he harassed her for years, took advantage of her for years.”
“I spent countless nights holding Ally close drying her tears about this monster,” @WhatchaDonnaDo said in the tweet. “You will never diminish her sunshine.”
Brandon Theesfeld was arrested Monday — two days after Kostial died — at a Memphis gas station with what appeared to be blood on his clothing and a weapon inside his truck, according to Memphis’ WHBQ-TV. He was set to have a bond hearing Wednesday but that was pushed back, according to the Oxford Eagle. A new date hasn’t been set.
Friends and family of Kostial have described her as a kind, loving person who was taking summer courses at the college and teaching fitness classes. She was also in the Alpha Phi sorority and was a founding member and president of the Ole Miss Golf Club, according to the college’s student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian.
“To Ally ... the sweetest, most genuine, and uplifting person I’ve ever known,” her friend Anna Pasco wrote on Facebook. “Thank you for being such an unbelievable friend and always lifting me up and sparking my spirits every time I was around you.”
“There will never be another like you & I pray that justice is served.”
A GoFundMe created Sunday that says funds will go to Kostial’s family had raised more than $16,000 toward a $10,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon.
Those who knew Kostial are expressing their shock and sorrow after her grisly death, while Brandon Theesfeld’s father wants the public to reserve their judgment until all the facts come out.
“I would ask everybody,” he told WMC-TV, “ to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”
Brandon attended Fort Worth Country Day high school and was a student at the University of Mississippi. He didn’t graduate from Country Day, according to school records, and an Ole Miss spokesman said he was suspended from the college after his arrest.
Brandon’s Facebook page is no longer active and his Twitter account vanished sometime Wednesday.
He was active on Twitter, though, after Kostial’s body was recovered Saturday, retweeting several tweets and posting his own thoughts. On Saturday, he shared another user’s video of a man in American flag decor funneling a beer, and wrote the caption: “Very frat.”
Twitter users commented beneath the tweet that it came after Kostial’s death.
Kostial was last seen Friday night stopping at the door of a bar in The Square, a downtown shopping and eating district in Oxford, WHBQ-TV reported. Police confirmed she could be seen on a surveillance camera.
A Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department deputy was on patrol Saturday morning at a popular fishing camp near Sardis Lake in Harmontown when he found the body, according to Mississippi news reports.
Two days later, authorities located Brandon at a South Memphis gas station, WHBQ-TV reported. Surveillance photos show him wearing a white Callaway golf hat and a blue Ole Miss baseball T-shirt.
Additional security photos obtained by WHBQ-TV show several Memphis police cars swarming the gas station.
Investigators had been tracking Brandon’s cell phone and credit card, which led them to the gas station, according to WHBQ-TV. A patrol officer reportedly noticed a pickup truck parked at the gas station that matched a description of the suspect’s vehicle.
He was arrested, authorities said. WHBQ-TV reported law enforcement officials said Brandon’s clothes appeared to have blood on them and a weapon was recovered from inside the truck.
Brandon was previously arrested by Oxford police in 2017 on charges of public intoxication and having a fake ID, WHBQ-TV reported.
‘A tragedy that should never happen’
Kostial’s father, Keith Kostial, wrote in a Facebook post that he had learned Saturday his daughter was the victim of a homicide.
His daughter was a 2016 graduate of Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, he wrote. She was working toward a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Ole Miss.
“She was only 21,” he wrote.
Messages of love and support have flooded the GoFundMe page that has far exceeded its goal. There were people who wrote that they knew Kostial, or the family. Others said they were alumni from her St. Louis high school or Ole Miss.
Some didn’t know her at all but wanted to express their condolences.
Multiple people described her as a beautiful woman, inside and out. People wrote she was a sweet person who had a smile that could light up a room.
Above all else, though, people said they were sorry.
“This is a tragedy that should never happen,” one woman wrote.