Investigation Continues into Death of Clarion U. Grad
According to the Tennessean, police say 26-year-old Caitlyn Kaufman, a Clarion University graduate and Butler County native who was found dead in her vehicle on December 3 on the shoulder of I-440W in Nashville, most likely died within moments of being shot in her left shoulder.
Metro Nashville Police homicide detective Chris Dickerson reported that police discovered someone fired at least six shots into Kaufman’s car between 6:05 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. as she drove to work on I-440, heading for her job at the Intensive Care Unit at Saint Thomas West Hospital.
Kaufman was discovered, deceased in her SUV, by a Metro Nashville officer who stopped around 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, to investigate why her vehicle was parked on the shoulder of the highway, believing it was a single-vehicle crash, according to police.
Dickerson said a motive in the killing is still unknown, and a suspect has yet to be identified. Dickerson also reported detectives are not aware of any roadway video of the shooting.
A Davidson County Medical Examiner determined Kaufman was killed by a single gunshot that entered her left shoulder and likely died within 15 seconds, with no time to even call 9-1-1.
Kaufman’s family is continuing to ask the community’s help in finding answers.
“Please help me find out who did this to my daughter,” Diane Kaufman recently pleaded. “I need closure. Caitlyn was selfless. … She had a contagious laugh. She had beautiful blue eyes. A heart of gold.”
Diane Kaufman went on to report she had no reason to believe anyone had reason to target her daughter expressing that Caitlyn didn’t have any enemies and must have been at “the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Other members of Caitlyn’s family, including two cousins, recently spoke to WTAE News, also asking for anyone with information about her death to come forward.
“Whoever did this really took a piece of everyone’s heart,” said Kristin Hertweck, Kaufman’s cousin. “We just keep asking why her? Why did it have to be her?”
According to her family, Kaufman dedicated her life to helping others and was living her dream of becoming a nurse. She had been working on the front lines of the pandemic, treating COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
“That’s what we can’t understand, how there’s somebody out there that could do this to her,” said Hertweck.
According to CNN News, Metro Nashville Police announced on Monday that a local Nashville man, who wished to remain anonymous, donated $10,000.00 as a reward for any information leading to an arrest in the case.
Kaufman, a native of Chicora in Butler County, graduated in 2016 from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the women’s swimming and diving program.
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