An arrest has been made in the murder of Nashville ICU nurse Caitlyn Kaufman.
Devaunte L. Hill, 21, is in custody and being charged with murder. Hill was arrested Friday morning at his Berkshire Place apartment in East Nashville and detectives say he made statements to "implicate" himself in the case.
Police said a major break in the case came within an hour of an anonymous group of business owners and entrepreneurs posting a $50,000 reward in Caitlyn's murder. It brought the total reward to more than $65,000.
Chief Drake said he's learned the group was made up of dads who love Nashville and care deeply about the community.
Kaufman, 26, was shot and killed while driving to work on I-440 Dec. 3 between the Hillsboro Road and West End exits. Police say she was traveling for her shift at St. Thomas West when someone fired at least six rounds at her car from the interstate. Kaufman was struck by gunfire that killed her within 15 seconds, according to the Medical Examiner.
Police said a concerned citizen came forward Thursday afternoon with information about a suspect and a 9mm gun used in the murder. Detectives said they found the gun that night and crime experts did an immediate analysis.
"That gun was test fired and we have a 100% match of the three 9mm shell casings found on the corner of the road on I-440 the night Caitlyn was killed," Chief Drake said.
Police also determined Hill's cell phone was in the vicinity the night Caitlyn was killed.
Police say Hill didn't know Caitlyn before the murder. The investigation remains ongoing. When asked if others may be involved, Metro Police said they're not going to rule anything out.
Caitlyn's mom Diane, who was in Nashville earlier this week for a police briefing, has been notified of the arrest.
"It was an exceptional relief to be able to call Diane Kaufman who is back in Pennsylvania right now," lead detective Chris Dickerson said. "She returned to Pennsylvania to prepare for Caitlyn's funeral which is on Saturday."
Hill has been arrested several times in Nashville on charges of assault, driving without a license, failure to be booked and drug paraphernalia dating back to as recently as August, according to a criminal background check from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Dickson said Diane's response to the arrest was tearful and thankful for all of the investigators working the case.
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