A 22-year-old University of Mississippi student from Texas charged in the killing of a female Ole Miss student was taken into custody Monday at a gas station in Tennessee, where he was reportedly found with clothing that appeared to have blood on it -- but the suspect's father still maintains his son is innocent.
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department said Brandon Theesfeld of Fort Worth, Texas was booked into the Lafayette County Jail on Monday and charged with murder in the death of 21-year-old Alexandria "Ally" Kostial.
Kostial was found dead Saturday near a lake in Harmontown, located about 20 miles from the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Miss. While authorities haven't said how Kostial died, law enforcement officials told WLBT-TV that Kostial was shot eight times.
Two days after Kostial's body was discovered, officials descended on a gas station about 60 miles away in Memphis, where they'd tracked Theesfeld’s cellphone and credit card, FOX13 Memphis reported. Surveillance photos from the gas station obtained by FOX13 show Theesfeld wearing an Ole Miss t-shirt as he walked into the station.
A patrol officer noticed a pickup truck that matched the description of Theesfeld's parked at the gas station and Memphis police soon swarmed the area, taking the 22-year-old into custody.
When he was arrested, Theesfeld had clothes that appeared to have blood on them and a weapon was discovered inside the vehicle, law enforcement officials told FOX13.
The university confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday that Theesfeld was a student in the School of Business Administration, and has been suspended. Fox News also has learned Theesfeld participated in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at San Marcos Academy in Texas. He graduated high school from the college prep academy before heading to Ole Miss, where he studied marketing.
Theesfeld was previously arrested in April 2017 for public intoxication and having a fake ID, according to police records obtained by FOX13. A spokesperson told the television station he was involved in another case, but that record was expunged.
His father, Daniel Theesfeld, said in a statement to WMC-TV that his son didn't kill Kostial.
“I know my son is innocent. And I have reasons to believe that I can’t share anything now. But I would ask everybody to please give him the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise," he told the television station.
Kostial was working towards a bachelor's degree in marketing. The woman's father, Keith Kostial, posted on Facebook that his daughter had been attending summer school and teaching fitness classes at the university.
The 21-year-old was last seen stopping at the door of a bar in Oxford, but apparently not going in. Instead, officials told WLBT-TV that Kostial went home around midnight before apparently leaving the house again, unbeknownst to her roommates.
It's unclear how Kostial got from Oxford to Harmontown. Officials from the sheriff's office, however, said they are not releasing any additional information at this time.
"We are not releasing details of the investigation as this is an ongoing investigation," Lafayette County Sheriff's Major Alan Wilburn said Tuesday.
University of Mississippi Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks said in a statement that Kostial's death "shocks the conscience and causes much pain and sorrow," but he said it will not define the Ole Miss campus community.
"We must draw strength from what brings us together as a community, even as we grieve this unspeakable loss," he added.
Fox News' Andrew Keiper, Kimberly Wagner and Charles Watson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.