By Eric Hilt
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (SCRIPPS) — The family of Ashley Brown, a Nashville surgical technician who was killed four years ago, is still waiting for answers in the cold case murder.
Brown was beaten and strangled after walking out of an apartment near Vanderbilt in December 2016. Her body was found four days later at a trash disposal site on Freightliner Drive.
Brown had lived in Nashville for about nine months and was working as a surgical technician at St. Thomas West. On the night of her murder, she was at a friend’s apartment on 25th Avenue N. near Centennial Park when she left to presumably smoke a cigarette around 4 a.m. on Saturday, December 17. Police still have not made any arrests in Brown’s case.
“Not having her there for some of the moments, those occasions in your life. It’s really difficult,” Aimee Clack, Brown’s best friend, told WTVF. “It feels like there is an empty part in your soul missing somebody that was part of your day to day life, she was family.”
When Clack saw the news that Caitlyn Kaufman, another Nashville nurse, was killed in a shooting on Interstate 440 in December 2020, her heart sank.
“The trauma that we kind of incurred missing her and finding out that she was murdered, I can’t even imagine another family going through that,” Clack said. Both Brown and Kaufman were young women who worked at St. Thomas Hospital West.
While there are several similarities in the two cases, there is one big difference: Metro Nashville Police officers arrested 21-year-old Devaunte Hill for Caitlyn’s murder. There have been no arrests in Brown’s case.
“I think it’s great that somebody is being held accountable for what they did,” Clack said. “I hope it brings the [Kaufman] family some comfort.”
Comfort that Brown’s friends and family are still waiting on.
“Ashley herself needs closure. her soul needs to be able to rest, and without somebody being held accountable, I know it’s not,” she said.
This story was originally published December 14, 2020, by Eric Hilt of WTVF in Nashville.