A GoFundMe account set up for the family of a drowned Belton man has far exceeded its initial goal.
Initially created by Anna Clark with a $5,000 goal for the family of 21-year-old Theodore Key, by late Monday afternoon the amount donated totaled more than $34,000.
“Theo Key died a hero trying to save the life of another. He was a son, a brother and a future father of a baby boy,” Clark said in the GoFundMe synopsis. “These funds will go directly to the family to help with expenses.”
On Thursday, the pregnant mother of Key’s unborn son helped searchers find Key, who drowned late Wednesday afternoon in Lake Belton as he tried to reach her. The wind blew her away from shore on a flotation device at Temple Lake Park.
Key went under at about 5:30 p.m., Santos Soto III, a spokesman for Temple Fire & Rescue, said. The search was called off Wednesday night without finding him and began again at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The Morgan’s Point Resort Dive Team assisted Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife game wardens with the search both days. A boat with side scan sonar swept the area to locate images for the divers to check out.
Game Warden Bryan Dulock said the expectant mother went out on the boat Thursday with game wardens for about 10 minutes to pinpoint the area where Key was last seen. Then she was taken back to shore, he said. The searchers went out about 10 minutes later and then found Key about 10 minutes after that.
Key’s body was recovered from the lake at about 8:04 p.m., according to the Temple Police Department.
“She’s one brave woman,” Dulock said. “She was definitely the key to finding him (Mr. Key).”
Key’s death was announced on Twitter by the Gainesville Basketball Association in Virginia and Scott Girolmo, one of Key’s former coaches.
“Grizzly, GBA, BHS football. Hug your kids. The community loved this boy,” the association posted.
“Everyone in the Bobcat family offers their deepest condolences to the family of Theo Key, former Battlefield Stand-out,” Girolmo wrote. “He touched the lives of so many. He will not be forgotten.”