Angela Altman would have been 54 years old today.
But Altman's world ended before she reached her 23rd birthday.
She was murdered in her Fort Dodge home on Jan. 24, 1981.
A juvenile suspect was arrested, briefly charged and released. No one has ever been held accountable for Altman's death.
That hasn't stopped her daughter, Jessica Altman, from hoping that someday, somebody will.
Jessica Altman was 4 years old when her mother's body - stabbed, strangled and partially nude - was found in the apartment the two shared at 215 S. Seventh St.
Now a registered nurse in Tennessee, Jessica Altman has spent about half of her life trying to get answers about her mother's death.
"I started when I turned 18," Altman said in a telephone interview. "So for about 17 years, I have been trying to get someone to look at this."
It has been - and continues to be - a frustrating quest for Altman, who from the beginning, said she feels she has been "brushed off for a pretty long time."
Altman believes a combination of factors has been responsible for the lack of attention to her mother's murder.
Family members, she said, never pushed local officials to do more and have continued their reluctance to talk about the crime.
"I've talked to my grandma; she doesn't really like to talk about it," Altman said. "I guess I can understand. It might be easier for some people to try to forget."
Altman said she has tried talking to a couple of her uncles, but "no one likes to talk about it. They just don't."
Some of the law enforcement officials Altman has talked to over the years left her feeling they weren't putting forth their best efforts to solve the case.
"With my family not being very verbal and not pushing it, it was just that much easier for them not to do anything. It was like, oh well, no biggie," Altman said.
Altman also said she didn't think solving the murder of the young black woman was a top priority in the early 1980s.
"No one was making a fuss about it, so why put any effort toward it?" she asked.
In January, Altman and a friend traveled to Fort Dodge to meet with local law enforcement officials. She came away from the meeting with mixed feelings, she said.
"I still didn't feel unless I constantly keep at them that they're going to do anymore than has been done," she said.
Altman said she made it clear to officials that she knew Iowa had lost funding for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation's Cold Case Unit which helped solve unsolved cases. She said she was impressed that the officials had reviewed the case information before her arrival. However, one official's off-hand remark to a passerby that he was "getting ready to have a quick meeting" indicated to her, Altman said, that her mother's murder "still isn't on anybody's priority list."
Still, the meeting with representatives from the Fort Dodge Police Department and DCI "was more than I expected," she said. "They were able to answer some questions without having to refer back to the (case) information."
However, following the meeting, she said she contacted the state DCI office in Des Moines, the Iowa Attorney General, the state ombudsman and the commissioner of public safety.
"I want them to know I've been understanding," Altman said. "I understand other things happen. I understand they're maybe short staffed. I understand that you want to get things that have occurred recently taken care of. But I've kind of been brushed off for a long time."