Mississippi college student’s death shocks community, loved ones

Updated: Jul. 22, 2019 at 5:54 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Family members are mourning the death of Ole Miss student Alexandria “Ally” Kostial.

Kostial’s body was found near Sardis Lake Saturday morning. Foul play is suspected in her death, though a cause has not been determined.

The 21-year-old Ole Miss student was working on a bachelor’s degree in marketing in the School of Business Administration.

“It’s just shocking," said Anna Pasco, Kostial’s friend.

She still can’t believe Kostial is gone.

“She quite possibly was the nicest human being that I’ve ever met,” said Pasco. “It’s just hard for me because all I can think about when I see her face is what she went through, what she was thinking, what she was saying. It’s hard.”

Kostial’s father, Keith Kostial, posted on Facebook late Sunday night, saying his daughter was attending summer school and teaching a fitness class. During a brief phone conversation with WMC’s Chris Luther, Keith Kostial said his daughter was sweet and harmless, and they’re anxiously awaiting what investigators learn about her death.

Kostial’s father hopes to have a public statement from the family when more details are revealed. Right now they’re making arrangements for her funeral.

“She is a beautiful, beautiful person inside and out and I love her and I’m going to miss her forever,” said Pasco.

Students on the Ole Miss Campus say they feel safe but they’re on edge after their classmate’s death, especially considering where her body was discovered -- in a remote area on the north side of Sardis Lake, about 20 miles from campus.

“Sardis is a really popular spot for a lot of students to go during the day, on the water or just hang out around there,” said Kelly Randell, Ole Miss senior.

Students who spoke with WMC Monday say they hope the case is solved quickly.

“Definitely not going to go to Sardis for a while,” said Emily Cochran, Ole Miss senior. “I mean, I don’t know if she was alone or not, but you just got to make sure your friends and family know where you’re at.”

Several agencies have joined in the investigation, including Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Investigators have released very few details so far.

“I just can’t imagine what the parents are going through right now and their family. It’s just very devastating,” said Michelle Bramlett who lives not far from where Kostial’s body was found.

Bramlett says the area is usual quiet.

“Very quaint place over there at Buford Ridge,” she said. “I just can’t believe this is so close to home.”

An MBI spokesperson says the state agency typically assists in cases where smaller departments or agencies don’t have the resources needed for the investigation.

MBI’s Major Crimes Unit is assisting in this particular investigation. Those agents provide technical assistance to local law enforcement agencies.

We reached out to the coroner’s office who said no additional information is being released at this time.

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