MANASSAS, Va. — She sees the killer like a shadow, in a dream only understood years after a man entered her Manassas home and murdered her father, Trooper Johnny Bowman.
She was two years old when it happened. It's the only unsolved murder of a Virginia State Police Trooper in the commonwealth’s history.
"In the dream, it's pretty much like a black figure," Nikki Bowman said in an interview Thursday. "My father opens the door, shadow comes in, and then they fall to the ground, and that's it. Then I wake up."
The killing was nothing short of vicious -- an assailant stabbed Trooper Bowman between 40 to 45 times before dawn on August 19, 1984. His wife, daughter and relatives were inside their Manassas home when Bowman awoke to answer the door.
His daughter would grow up to become a Manassas police officer, who has now spent years of her life reviewing old newspaper clips, accounts from investigations and her own memories.
For Officer Bowman, there are elements of the morning that simply fail to make sense.
"I don't know many law enforcement officers who would answer their door at that time, with no protection," she said. "Especially if you've got a child in the home."
Investigators have assessed whether Bowman knew his killer. Yet after 35 years, there are no arrests and no conclusions.
The FBI is investigating the case since the matter is classified as an officer death in the line of duty. The Bureau is now offering a $50,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in the case.
"If you're concerned what people may think of you coming forward after all these years, and admitting to having involvement in something of this nature, it can't be any worse than what I've thought of you for the past 35 years," Nikki Bowman said.
"You've had 35 years to exist among society as a decent human being," she said. "And to me, that's not a just consequence for someone how has ended the life of another."