Todd Keeling was found dead in a beer cooler on Tuesday at Georgia's SunTrust Park while visiting the Atlanta Braves' stadium to install his new beverage technology

By Char Adams
June 28, 2018 12:07 PM
John Adams/Icon Sportswire/Getty

A Minnesota inventor was found dead in a beer cooler on Tuesday at Georgia’s SunTrust Park while visiting the Atlanta Braves’ stadium to install his new technology, PEOPLE confirms.

A co-worker found 48-year-old Todd Keeling, of White Bear Lake, just before the Braves took on the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Cobb County Police Department tells PEOPLE. Keeling had worked overnight to install his creation, the QuickDraw Faucet — which cuts the amount of time it takes to pour beer, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I … was taken completely by surprise by Todd’s death,” Nathan Churchill, general manager of Draftwell (the company that sold Keeling’s creation), tells PEOPLE.

“It’s tragic, but Todd died doing what he loved most, installing his invention the QuickDraw faucet, and making a positive change in how draft beer is served. Todd was an incredibly charismatic person, full of life. My feelings go out to Todd’s family.”

Investigators said it is too early to determine if there was foul play involved, according to the AJC. A police spokeswoman told the publication that the area where Keeling was found doesn’t drop in temperature below 40 degrees.

After the co-worker found Keeling, he and others nearby, began performing CPR on the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Cobb County Medical Examiner’s office conducted an autopsy, but officials said there were no preliminary findings to release, the AJC reported.

Keeling’s aunt, Fran Kuchta, told the AJC that the father of four had been working on the Quick Draw Faucet since he graduated from college.

“This is his dream since he was a kid,” she said. “He worked hard to do this. I’m sure things would have gone on further.”

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death, according to the Associated Press.

“He was there just doing his job,” Sarah O’Hara, with the Cobb County Police Department, told WSB-TV, noting that authorities are interviewing witnesses and working with the Atlanta Braves in the investigation.

“From there they’ll decide if it’s a homicide or accidental suicide. There’s many avenues it could go, but at this time, we’re just gathering information.”

Requests for more information to the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s office were not immediately returned.

Keeling’s two teen sons had gone to the stadium with him to install the technology, but left just a few days earlier, Kuchta told the AJC. Kuchta said she and Keeling’s mother began screaming when they got the news on Tuesday.

“My son is dead,” Kuchta recalls the woman yelling. “I need answers.”

On Wednesday, the team mourned Keeling’s death in a statement to the AJC.

“The Atlanta Braves are deeply saddened by the passing of Todd Keeling,” the statement read. “We admired the passion he had for both his company and his product. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”