21-Year-Old University of Mississippi Student Found Dead Near Lake; Police Suspect Foul Play

A 21-year-old University of Mississippi student who was found dead near Oxford over the weekend may have been a victim of foul play, according to CNN affiliate WMC.

Alexandria “Ally” Kostial’s body was found by deputies on routine patrol near Sardis Lake, about 10 miles from the university in northern Mississippi, on Saturday morning, CNN affiliate KMOV reported. Her cause of death has not yet been determined, according to WMC.

The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death. Mississippi Bureau of Investigation Capt. John Poulos confirmed to CNN in an email that they are assisting with the investigation, and referred any additional questions about the case to that department.

The University of Mississippi Police Department and Oxford Police Department are also assisting in the case, according to WMC.

Authorities say they’re following multiple leads trying to determine how Kostial ended up near the lake, WMC reported.

Kostial was working toward a bachelor’s degree in marketing in the university’s School of Business Administration, University of Mississippi Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks said in a statement.

“Ally was a valued member of our campus community,” Sparks said. “We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, friends, and classmates and stand ready to support them during this time.”

Anna Pasco, one of Kostial’s friends, told WMC she was shocked.

“She quite possibly was the nicest human being that I’ve ever met,” Pasco told the affiliate. “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.”

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