Butler Co. woman murdered along Nashville highway while heading to work

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s the worst phone call a family can get: a loved one has been killed. Caitlyn Kaufman’s mother told Channel 11 through tears that the family’s hearts are shattered.

Kaufman, 26, was shot and killed while driving to her job as an ICU nurse at a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital. Her family told Channel 11 moving to Nashville was her lifelong dream.

The windshield of Kaufman’s SUV was shattered and the back windows were smashed by gunfire. She was found dead in that SUV just before 9 p.m. Thursday after she never showed up for her shift at St. Thomas West Hospital.

Her parents said they’re at a loss for words after what happened. They don’t know if this was road rage, something random or more. Kaufman grew up in Chicora in Butler County. She was an honor roll student at Butler Senior High School and went on to Clarion University. She was a diver on the swim team, and her mother said she always put family first.

NexTier Bank is accepting donations that will go toward a memorial fund for Kaufman. Checks can be dropped off at any NexTier Bank location. You can also mail a check to:

  • NexTier Bank
  • Caitlyn Kaufman Memorial Fund
  • 20249 Route 19
  • Cranberry Township, PA 16066

A GoFundMe account has also been set up. You can donate HERE.

Clarion University issued a statement:

“Clarion University and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Caitlyn Kaufman. Caitlyn embodied all of the characteristics of a model student-athlete while a member of the women’s swimming and diving program. She was a tenacious competitor, a supportive teammate and a dedicated student. Our thoughts remain with Caitlyn’s family, as well as her former teammates and coaches, during this difficult time.”

While Kaufman was in nursing school, she worked at Butler Memorial Hospital. The CEO said she always put her patients first and that they’re mourning her tragic loss.

Investigators are pleading with anyone who saw anything out of the ordinary on I-440 to call Crimestoppers. You can remain anonymous.

Kaufman’s parents are in Nashville and are planning to meet with detectives to hopefully get justice for their daughter.