Minneapolis police are investigating the death of a University of Minnesota student whose body was found Sunday near the Stone Arch Bridge.
Jake Anderson is a 19-year-old freshman student from Orono, Minn. and member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was a varsity lacrosse player at Orono High School and his Facebook page lit up with loving posts from friends and family as soon as the news of his death hit.
At 8:45 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a report of an unresponsive person lying on the ground near 6th Avenue SE and Main Street, just east of the bridge.
Family members told Fox 9 their son was walking a girl home from a party and while walking back, he somehow ended up down the steep bank next to the bridge, possibly slipping and falling on the ice. No one can figure out how he got there, just that he couldn't get back up.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office released few details Monday, but said he was found dead at 600 Main St. SE, cause and manner of death pending further studies. Minneapolis police are continuing to investigate.
ORONO MOURNS LOSS
At Orono High School, there's a tradition of painting the rock out in front of the school, for good news or bad.
Chris Lecy played football with Anderson last year, when Jake, or "Jander," as he was dubbed affectionately, was a senior.
"I woke up at 6:30 this morning and got some paint cans and headed out with some football buddies and took through the cold and painted the rock for him," Lecy said.
Anderson was the heart and soul of the team's offense.
"I remember whenever we'd score and run off the field, you'd just look over and see Jake, he'd have the big contagious smile that everyone wanted to be around," Lecy added.
That's the description you'll hear from anyone who ever came in contact with Anderson. His parents told Fox 9 their son had a heart of gold that could light up a room.
"One of those guys that you love to have on the team because he motivates everybody else to be great," Orono football coach Jeff Weiland said.
Anderson's passion was actually lacrosse -- he was a goalie for Orono when they won sections this spring and ultimately took fifth in state.
Anderson was just embarking on his freshman year at the University of Minnesota as a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha ("Pike") fraternity. In his short time at the U, Facebook made it clear Anderson had already touched the hearts of his peers, and he'll continue to do just that as his memory lives on.
ANDERSON FAMILY FUND
Friends and family are raising money for the Andersons as they deal with their loss.
"Everyone will tell you that Jake Anderson was one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. He was genuine, kindhearted, and a friend to so many. He was a loving brother to Luke and Emily, and an incredible son to Bill and Kristi," the Give Forward website reads.
Give Forward fund: http://bit.ly/1bKX8Ju
"The members of the Beta Chi chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha are deeply saddened over the loss of our brother and friend, Jake Anderson. Jake was an outstanding new member of our fraternity that provided life to put membership through a constant smile and passion for life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and our brothers and sisters here at the University of Minnesota. Anyone seeking to help with arrangements should visit www.giveforward.com to make donations to assist Jake's family."
U OF M STATEMENT
"On behalf of the University of Minnesota, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Jacob W. Anderson. Jacob was a freshman studying in the College of Liberal Arts on our Twin Cities campus. We will be reaching out to the Anderson family to offer University support and resources. We are also working closely with Housing and Residential Life, Boynton Health Service and University Counseling & Consulting Services to provide counseling, mental health and other support to Jacob's friends and fellow students at the U. Anyone in need of someone to talk to during this very difficult time is encouraged to visit mentalhealth.umn.edu for more information or go to University Counseling and Consulting Services in 340 Appleby Hall between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to talk to a counselor."
Raymond Duvall, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, added the following:
"I speak for the entire College of Liberal Arts community in extending our condolences to the family and friends of Jacob Anderson, who was a student in our college. We share this grief as a community. Out of this moment of sadness, let's all make a special effort to watch out for and take care of each other."