Authorities believe “foul play” was involved in the death of a 21-year-old University of Mississippi student whose body was found Saturday morning near a lake about 20 minutes away from campus.
Alexandria “Ally” Kostial, a rising senior, was found by Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department officers during their Saturday morning patrol near Sardis Lake. Authorities told The Daily Beast the incident is being investigated as an apparent homicide.
“It is apparent that foul play was involved,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said on Monday, declining to provide any additional details about the case while authorities investigate “many leads.”
Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy confirmed that an autopsy for Kostial has “been requested” but declined to provide further details.
According to her father, Keith Kostial, the college senior was attending summer school and teaching fitness classes on campus when she became “the victim of a homicide.”
“Ally was very friendly. She had no enemies in life,” her childhood friend, Claudia Swyres, told The Daily Beast on Monday. “She was also willing to help out anybody who ever needed help.”
The University of Mississippi confirmed Kostial was studying marketing at the college’s school of business administration and minoring in management information systems. Set to graduate next spring, Kostial was also one of the founding members of the school’s golf club and served as its president.
Kostial was a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, a school spokesperson confirmed.
“We are truly saddened by the death of Alexandria Kostial. Ally was a valued member of our campus community. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, friends, and classmates and stand ready to support them during this time,” University of Mississippi Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks said in a statement over the weekend. “We appreciate the work of the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and Coroner as they conduct their investigation.”
Kostial was a seasonal lifeguard at a country club near her hometown in St. Louis, Missouri. According to her Facebook page, she volunteered in June 2017 as a childcare worker in Cape Town, South Africa, and volunteered in a preschool classroom in Peru the following summer.
Before attending the University of Mississippi, Kostial graduated in 2016 from Lindbergh High School, the school district confirmed.
“Our hearts are broken for the Kostials, and we extend our deepest sympathies to her entire family during this time,” Lindbergh Schools spokeswoman Beth Johnston told The Daily Beast on Monday.