June 27, 2018 / 8:13 PM / 3 months ago

Body found in SunTrust freezer ID'd, reportedly that of beer entrepreneur

Shortly after Atlanta police on Wednesday identified the body found a day earlier inside a SunTrust Park freezer, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the man was at the stadium to install new beer technology that is catching on around Major League Baseball parks.

Jun 25, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of SunTrust Park during a rain delay before a game between the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports, the body found before Tuesday’s game between the Braves and Cincinnati Reds was that of 48-year-old Todd Keeling of White Bear Lake, Minn. According to reports, a Cobb County police spokeswoman said an autopsy would be performed Wednesday in an effort to determine cause of death. Multiple reports also indicate police have no reason to suspect foul play at this time.

The AJC’s Ben Brasch reported later Wednesday that Keeling is the inventor of Draftwell, a technology that was expected to cut down pour times from the tap at SunTrust from an average of 14 seconds to five. Brasch spoke with Keeling’s aunt, Fran Kuchta, who told him that police believed Keeling got stuck in the freezer and could not get out.

According to Kuchta, Keeling had been working on his technology since college. According to U.S. patent records, Keeling filed for a patent in November 2014 for “a new nozzle for a beer valve tap and a new foamless beer tap dispensing system. The new nozzle is longer, has a small bent and end openings for a more precise release of beer from the outlet of the spout.”

In a story written by Brasch and published Monday, the company which manages food and beverage service at SunTrust Park said that the Draftwell taps installed at the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field increased keg yield from 87 to 94 percent. Kuchta said the new taps are also in use at the Chicago White Sox’s Guaranteed Rate Field.

According to Kuchta, Keeling’s teenage sons helped him install the system at SunTrust Park but left a few days ago. Keeling was there to finish up the installation.

The game between the Braves and Reds went on as scheduled Tuesday after the body was found at 3:30 p.m. local time. The teams also played a matinee on Wednesday.

—Field Level Media

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