Detectives follow several tips, theories in shooting death of Nashville nurse

Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 20:21:02-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Where do things stand? That's the question now one week after a young nurse was shot to death on Interstate 440 in Nashville.

As of Thursday night, there still has not been an arrest in the case. There have been tips, but no video from interstate and, as far as we know, no eyewitnesses.

Metro detectives are working from a very broad base beginning.

On December 3, 26-year-old Caitlyn Kaufman was found dead in her car on the interstate. Someone shot her around 6 p.m. and it was raining and dark.

Her body in the vehicle was not found until three hours later, with the shooter long gone.

Earlier this week, lead homicide detective Chris Dickerson conceded they were starting from scratch in the investigation.

"As of today we have not established a motive for Caitlyn's murder," Dickerson said. "We have considered all options since the investigation began."

So, what are those options?

"I cannot discuss all the leads we are actively working," said Dickerson on Monday.

But sources do tell NewsChannel 5 there's progress.

Was this a road rage shooting? Possibly.

Kaufman's mother said she was briefly on the phone with her daughter as she drove to work and said everything seemed fine when they hung up.

But, does she believe someone Kaufman knew targeted her?

"No. Not at all. No reason to believe that at all," said Diane Kaufman.

Even so, detectives are now scrutinizing everyone Kaufman came to know since she moved to Nashville two years ago.

They recovered her cellphone and will check to see if there were other calls besides her mother that day.

"I can't dive too deeply into whether she was targeted or not, but we are looking at everything," said Dickerson.

That includes the possibility Kaufman was already stopped on the shoulder when she was shot.

The medical examiner said her wound would have killed her in seconds. If so, how was she able to safely pull over safely? There's no damage to the front bumper of her SUV or the guardrail.

This does beg the question: What would have led Kaufman to pull over before the shooting? Did someone wave her over?

There's no indication this was a robbery attempt as police did not say anything was missing from the car.

Also, there are the two Colorado men arrested in Florida for randomly shooting at motorists. Metro police confirmed they are being looked at and have not yet been cleared in this case. But, it seems unlikely the two drove through Nashville and police have doubts about whether they were involved.

Detectives say this case will be solved based on a tip.

Anyone who was on I-440 between the Hillsboro Road and West End exits last Thursday around 6 p.m. should call CrimeStoppers if you saw anything unusual. The reward in this case has grown beyond $65,000 thanks to donations from local residents.