MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ally Kostial, the 21-year-old Ole Miss student whose body was found in rural Lafayette County, Mississippi last Saturday, was well-liked and heavily involved in athletics and activities, according to friends and school officials.
Photos from one of Kostial's social media accounts show her at events with her accused killer, Brandon Theesfeld. It's unclear when and where those photos were taken.
Theesfeld, a fellow University of Mississippi student who is now suspended, is charged with murder. He faced a judge in an initial court appearance Tuesday, a day after he was taken into custody at a gas station on South Parkway in Memphis.
The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office determined from a preliminary autopsy that Kostial was killed by "multiple gunshot wounds," the department announced Wednesday.
Kostial graduated from Lindbergh High School in St. Louis in 2016, said Beth Johnston, chief communications officer for the school.
"Lindbergh is a close community and Ally will be deeply missed by all of the friends, families and teachers whose lives she touched," Johnston said. "Our hearts are broken for the Kostials, and we extend our deepest sympathies to her entire family during this time."
News partner KTVI in St. Louis reached out to two of Kostial's high school friends, who said she was involved in track and field and cheerleading at Lindbergh High School, and that she started a golf club in college.
“She would do just about anything," Sammie Martin said. "She loved outdoors, she loved just hanging out with her friends, she was the person you always wanted to be around."
Margaret Illig added: “When I was around her, I just felt like my spirit being lifted.”
Both women said they had seen her recently.
Kostial's sorority at Ole Miss, Alpha Phi, issued a statement on Facebook: "The Alpha Phi community is grieving the loss of Ally Kostial, and we send our deepest sympathies to her family during this incredibly difficult time. We hope that those who were closest to Ally can find peace as they reflect on the lasting impact she made on the lives of her family members and friends."
Kostial's father, in a Facebook post, said his daughter had been attending summer school and teaching fitness classes at Ole Miss.
The relationship between Kostial and Theesfeld is unclear. One of Kostial's friends told a St. Louis station that the two had dated at Ole Miss. Her family also told our St. Louis affiliate that the two had dated in the past.
It's unclear what their relationship was like in the days before her death, but one of Kostial's friends wrote about her relationship with Theesfeld on Twitter saying, "he harassed her for years, took advantage of her for years. I spent countless nights holding Ally close, drying her tears about this monster."
We checked with Ole Miss and they told us campus police "had no prior reports of violence involving Brandon Theesfeld."
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Kostial family with funeral expenses.