University of Mississippi student charged in woman’s death

Brandon Theesfeld, left, is led from the Lafayette County Courthouse in Oxford, Miss., Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by Maj. Alan Wilburn, after being arraigned in connection with the death of 21-year-old University of Mississippi student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a University of Mississippi student from Texas, saying he killed a female student whose body was found last weekend not far from the Ole Miss campus.

Lafayette County Sheriff’s Major Alan Wilburn said 22-year-old Brandon A. Theesfeld of Fort Worth has been charged with murder in the death of Alexandria “Ally” Kostial. The 21-year old woman from St. Louis was found dead Saturday night near a lake about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the university grounds.

Theesfeld was arrested Monday afternoon and booked into the county jail.

Authorities haven’t said how Kostial died, but her death has shocked many in and around the Ole Miss community.

“We are not releasing details of the investigation as this is an ongoing investigation,” Wilburn said.

Ole Miss spokesman Rod Guajardo said Theesfeld, a student of business administration, has been suspended from the university.

Kostial was studying for a bachelor’s degree in marketing. The woman’s father, Keith Kostial, posted on Facebook that his daughter had been attending summer school and teaching fitness classes at the university.

Theesfeld’s father, Dr. Daniel Theesfeld told WMC-TV that his son didn’t kill Kostial.

“I know my son is innocent,” the father said. “And I have reasons to believe that I can’t share anything now. But I would ask everybody to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.”

Lawyer Swayze Alford, who represented Theesfeld in an appearance Tuesday morning appearance before a judge, didn’t return a phone call or email seeking comment.

Lafayette County Circuit Judge Andrew Howorth agreed to consider whether to set bail for Theesfeld at a later date.

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