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Maple Grove police are asking Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty to consider filing manslaughter charges against two men suspected of killing their friend and high school classmate nearly 14 years ago.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner listed 19-year-old Robbie Anderson's 2009 death as "sudden unexplained." But his mother, Sandra Cikotte Anderson, saw that it looked like her son had been beaten — his face black, blue and bloodied — and set out to find the cause of his death.

She hired Dr. Allecia M. Wilson, one of the pathologists who conducted the independent autopsy of George Floyd, and asked her to do the same for her son. In November, Cikotte Anderson had her son's body exhumed, and Wilson concluded Anderson died of blunt force trauma.

Investigator Shiela Potocnik, forensic pathologist Allecia M. Wilson and mother Sandra Cikotte Anderson
Investigator Shiela Potocnik, forensic pathologist Allecia M. Wilson and mother Sandra Cikotte Anderson

Provided by Sandra Cikotte Anderson

Police this month shared the results of Wilson's autopsy with Moriarty's office and requested the case be reviewed for charging, said Capt. Jon Wetternach with Maple Grove Police.

"I cried so hard," Cikotte Anderson said Monday. "I was thrilled. I thought, finally. I believe justice is coming. We now wait and hope justice will be swift."

Neither of the two men suspected in Anderson's death — the only others present when he died — have been arrested. The case remains "an open and active investigation," Wetternach said.

The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects until they are charged.

When charging a case, spokesman Nicholas Kimball said his office must be able to prove it to a point where no reasonable person could disagree with the conclusion.

"The original and unwavering conclusion by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner that Anderson's death is inconclusive has been a significant obstacle up to this point to proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt," Kimball said.

With the new evidence, the County Attorney's office will review the case again from scratch with multiple senior attorneys participating in that review. The review is expected to take about 30 days, Kimball said.

Anderson had gone to a friend's house on Dec. 4, 2009, to play video games and watch movies. His two friends had been drinking throughout the day. Anderson joined them, but not until much later in the night. At some point, an altercation in the basement became physical, the case file shows.

Anderson was allegedly hit multiple times on the head by one of his longtime friends while standing near a utility sink in the basement. Anderson, detectives believed, fell and hit his head on the concrete floor. Police went to the residence after getting a 911 call and found Anderson not breathing and with no pulse, two black eyes and bruising on his face.

Officers performed CPR and used a defibrillator on Anderson, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police at the time submitted the case to the County Attorney's Office for manslaughter charges, but the office declined to prosecute. The case went largely cold for more than a decade.

Cikotte Anderson was visiting her son's grave a few years back when she noticed a boy's name on a nearby headstone. Antonio DeMeules was just 15 when he was killed by a drunken driver in 2015. His aunt, Sheila Potocnik, helped law enforcement solve the case. Cikotte Anderson left a note on DeMeules' grave asking for Potocnik's help.

Potocnik, a cold-case consultant who helps families with unsolved cases, pored over Anderson's case files, looked at photographs and video and conducted numerous interviews. Potocnik also connected Cikotte Anderson with Wilson and another pathologist who also determined Anderson's death to be a homicide.

With the mountain of evidence and results of the new autopsy, Cikotte Anderson said she is grateful the case has been referred for prosecution but praying prosecutors will up the charge to murder.

"The death of my son now lies in the hands of Hennepin County," she said. "I have faith in Mary Moriarty. My gut tells me to believe she will do what's right and just. I hope I am right."