COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A fast-talking tinkerer and father of four was at SunTrust Park to install his beer tap invention when he died, his family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Todd Keeling, 48, was found dead by a worker inside a beer cooler on Tuesday afternoon, said Cobb County police. Investigators said it was too early to determine if there was foul play.
Fran Kuchta, Keeling’s aunt, said police told the family that he was in the cooler and couldn’t get out.
She said her nephew was excited to learn that another MLB stadium wanted his beer tap technology, Draftwell, which was going to cut down pour times at SunTrust from a 14-second average to five seconds.
Police are not sure how Keeling became trapped inside the cooler. Investigators are waiting for autopsy results. OSHA is also investigating.
Channel 2's Chris Jose spoke to fans at SunTrust Park who were shocked at the bizarre circumstances of Keeling's death.
"There should be cameras in those kind of places," Jason Cesarski told Jose. "If he’s locked in, there should be a button that says hey I need help or something."
Kuchta said Keeling had been working on his beer invention since he graduated college.
“This is his dream since he was a kid,” Kuchta said.
Federal patent records show he filed an application for his “system for reducing foam at tap” invention in 2014.
His aunt said the beer systems were already installed at White Sox’s Guaranteed Rate Field and the Twins’ Target Field in Minnesota.
“He worked hard to do this,” she said. “ ... I’m sure things would have gone on further.”
His two sons, both teenagers, were in Atlanta helping him put the system in at SunTrust Park but left a few days ago, she said. Keeling was finishing up the installation.
Kuchta said she and her sister — Keeling’s mother — were watching the 5 o’clock news Tuesday when his mom got the call from Keeling's wife.
Kuchta said Keeling’s parents drove to Cobb County and were set to meet with the medical examiner’s office.
She said the family is reeling from losing one of their rocks, a man who would always be in the middle of a gaggle of children.
“He’s a big kid himself,” she said.
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