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Fraternity mourns 'U' student found dead near river

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The identity of a man who was found dead near the Mississippi River Sunday morning has been released.

KSTP reports that the University of Minnesota freshman was Jacob Anderson, 19, of Orono. His body was discovered about 8:45 a.m. on the ground near Main Street and 6th Avenue SE. KSTP's report notes that's about a 40-minute walk from campus. The cause of Anderson's death will be determined by the Hennepin County medical examiner, but police say foul play is not suspected. Overnight temperatures in the area had dropped to 1 degree below zero.

Speaking to WCCO, Anderson's mother Kristi said that he fell and hit his head, adding that her son’s death "...serves as a reminder for people to not walk home alone at night. She said, if he would’ve been with someone, this could’ve had a very different ending." FOX 9 quoted family members who said Anderson was walking a girl home from a party when he slipped on ice.

Citing the University website, the Pioneer Press reports that Anderson was in the college of liberal arts and was a resident of Pioneer Hall, a freshman dormitory. WCCO reported that Anderson was part of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The fraternity posted a statement on its Facebook page, which reads, in part:

“There are no words that can rightfully explain the brother we lost today. Jake Anderson was the perfect example of what we strive to be like everyday. He was a leader amongst men. He was a scholar. He was an athlete. And most of all, he was a gentleman."

Family friends quickly set up a GiveForward account to raise money to fund a plane ticket for Anderson's sister Emily, who is in New Zealand. The fund will also help the family defray funeral costs. By noon on Monday the fund had raised almost $13,000.

The Star Tribune said Anderson had played varsity lacrosse at Orono High School. He was the goalie of an Orono High lacrosse team that captured the Section 8 championship in 2013 and had been one of the team’s five captains.

At the university, Raymond Duvall, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said in a statement: “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.

Danita Brown Young, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students, said officials are working to provide counseling, mental health and other support to Jacob’s friends and fellow students at the university.

You can read the statements from University officials here.

The death came a week after a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth was found unconscious and suffering from hypothermia after she spent a frigid night on a neighbor’s porch. Friends dropped her off at home after a night of drinking.

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