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Texas man charged with murder in Ole Miss student’s death

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Miss. — A 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder in the death of a University of Mississippi student whose body was found over the weekend.

Brandon Theesfeld of Texas was arrested around 4 p.m. Monday in the death of 21-year-old Alexandria "Ally" Kostial. The St. Louis woman was found dead Saturday along Buford Ridge Road in Lafayette County.

Theesfeld is in the Lafayette County Jail and made made an initial court appearance Tuesday morning.

He was also a student at Ole Miss, studying business, and has been suspended, the university said.

Memphis Police said Theesfeld was captured at a gas station in South Memphis around 9:30 p.m. after Mississippi officers spotted him and sent a description to MPD.

Memphis Police took Theesfeld to a precinct for an interview and handed him over to Mississippi law enforcement Monday night.

Kostial was a student at the University of Mississippi. According to the university, Kostial was working towards a bachelor’s degree in marketing in the School of Business Administration.

A Lafayette County Sheriff's deputy was patrolling the stretch of road on the north side of Sardis Lake when Kostial's body was discovered. The sheriff's department says it was "apparent that foul play was involved."

Investigators aren't saying how the woman ended up here or how she died.

Ole Miss Interim Chancellor Larry D. Sparks released a statement expressing sympathy for the Kostial family and support for students.

"I want to extend our deepest sympathies once again to Ally’s family, friends and all others who knew her or interacted with her on campus. Ally was an engaged member of our community with friends across our campus and a promising future. The university will support the Kostial family in every way we can during this traumatic time.

These events remind us of the importance of leaning on each other in the wake of an event that we cannot understand. If needed, the University Counseling Center is offering walk-in grief counseling between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to students, faculty and staff seeking additional support, or you can schedule an appointment by calling (662) 915-3784.

Ally’s death shocks the conscience and causes much pain and sorrow, but it does not define our campus community. We must draw strength from what brings us together as a community, even as we grieve this unspeakable loss."

Kostial's father, in a Facebook post, said his daughter had been attending summer school and teaching fitness classes at Ole Miss.

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