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Jacob Anderson

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Donation fund set up by family, friends of U student found dead by river

  • Article by: STAFF REPORTS
  • December 16, 2013 - 5:54 PM

Donations and condolences poured in Monday for the family of a University of Minnesota freshman from Orono whose body was found Sunday along the Mississippi River.

Few new details were available Monday about the death of Jacob W. Anderson, 19 who was enrolled in the U’s College of Liberal Arts and lived in Pioneer Hall. Police have said they suspect that he froze to death.

Anderson’s body was found about 8:45 a.m. Sunday on the ground near Main Street and 6th Avenue SE., just east of the Stone Arch Bridge and not far from campus. Police said no foul play was involved, but the Hennepin County medical examiner has not yet released a cause of death.

Anderson graduated from Orono High School, where he was goalie of a lacrosse team that captured the Section 8 championship in 2013 and one of the team’s five captains.

On Monday, tributes and expressions of grief poured into Anderson’s Facebook page, and by evening, more than 300 donations totaling more than $18,000 had been made to a Give It Forward site set up by family and friends to help raise funeral costs, as well as airfare to bring Jake’s sister, Emily, home from New Zealand.

“Everyone will tell you that Jake Anderson was one of the nicest guys you would ever meet,” the site says. “He was genuine, kindhearted, and a friend to so many. ... He had such a bright future ahead of him.”

Anderson’s fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha’s Beta Chi chapter, posted condolences and a photo of a snow memorial in front of their residence topped with flowers and painted with the words, “Smile for Jake. We love and miss you. Rest in peace.”

Anderson is survived by his parents, Bill and Kristi, and siblings Emily and Luke.

In Minneapolis early Sunday, temperatures had dropped to 1 degree below zero.

His death came a week after a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth almost died of hypothermia when she spent a frigid night on a neighbor’s porch after friends dropped her off after being out drinking.

© 2014 Star Tribune