Family fights for digital data after their son passed away

WAYZATA (KMSP) – A family is still seeking answers more than one year after the death of their son, and they believe those answers are in his cell phone.

It's the device that could truly give Bill and Kristi Anderson closure, and possibly reveal what exactly happened during the final moments of 19-year-old Jake Anderson's life.

"We would really like to see his last texts, the pings possibly to how he got to this remote location." Bill Anderson said.

In December 2013, the U of M Freshman's body was found along the Mississippi River near the Stone Arch Bridge. He was set to walk a girl home from a party. She went to get her coat, walked out and Jake was gone. His cause of death was ruled accidental hypothermia, making it much harder for Bill and Kristi Anderson to access their son's text, social media and e-mail accounts.

"It might not show anything at all, but that would give us the answers to our concerns." Kristi Anderson said. "Apple and Sprint won't give you what's on the phone without a subpoena, and the police won't give you a subpoena because it's ruled accidental."

Since Jake didn't have a will listings all of his passwords and granting his parents permission to access his accounts, the providers cite they're protecting Jake's data privacy rights.

After the Anderson's reached out to Representative Deb Hilstrom, she became the Chief Author of House File 200.

"Minnesota needs a law to say one, if you have access to the information, yes, you as their conservator can get access to it." Hilstrom said. "Two, for those that don't, whoever the power of attorney is, and whoever is in charge of the estate should have authority to get in."

If the Bill can get through the house and senate, the Anderson's may have more than closure.