Ally Kostial was a 21-year-old student at the University of Mississippi, commonly referred to as Ole Miss. On July 19, her short life was tragically ended when she was shot to death. Surveillance footage now shows what law enforcement believes to be some of the last hours of her life. On that tragic night, Kostial was walking through Oxford Square where she visited Funkys Pizza & Daiquiri Bar. It was shortly before midnight when Kostial, wearing a blue dress and white jacket, exited the bar and headed down the street by herself. She paused to hug an unnamed person and then got into a gray van that pulled up alongside the sidewalk, according to The Clarion Ledger.
Initially, the van didn’t take off. It was about 30 seconds before it began driving away, Kostial still inside. Kostial’s roommate recalled her coming home around midnight but didn’t hear if she left the residence again. The next day, Kostial’s body was found in Harmontown, which is a city about 30 minutes away from Oxford. She died of multiple gunshot wounds, and her death was later ruled a homicide.
Brandon Theesfeld, a 22-year-old student also from the University of Mississippi, was later charged with Kostial’s murder. According to her friends, Theesfeld was her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Kostial had posted photos with him online several years ago. Theesfeld’s lawyer and father have proclaimed his innocence.
As Kostial’s friends and family grieve this unimaginable loss, the University of Mississippi and the surrounding cities are trying to comprehend a tragedy like this taking place in their own community. A bartender at the bar Kostial frequented before her death had only just installed the security camera that would later capture some of Kostial’s last moments. The bartender, who didn’t give her name, recalled Kostial as her friend. She was someone who was always happy and kind to others.
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“She was always smiling. She just lit up the room. She had a smile from ear to ear. It’s really sad…. she was just too nice. She’s going to be missed,” she said.
Kostial was on campus this summer to take some summer courses. She was in the process of wrapping up a class about retail with instructor Ashley Morgan.
“Ally was a sweet kid. Very quiet, but I enjoyed having her in class,” Morgan said.
Kostial was a member of a sorority, in the process of obtaining a degree in marketing, and played golf.