BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Samantha Cothran had a bright future ahead of her. She was on her way to becoming a pharmacist when someone shot and killed her as she was leaving a party in Buffalo six years ago.
Cothran's killer remains free while her family is left without a beloved daughter, aunt, and sister.
"She'd be 29 today. What would she have been? Would she have kids? What would happen? And we will never know," says Cothran’s mother, Melissa Bosley.
Cothran was the oldest in a family of three girls. She graduated from Nardin, then went on to graduate from Fisk University where she played basketball and earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
Cothran was leaving a birthday party at a house on Minnesota Avenue on May 13, 2012 when someone shot her.
"For the first four years, I kept saying she's away at college, she's away at college, and the fifth year I was like it really took a toll on me because that's when I really realized that I'll visit you every day at the cemetery, you're not coming back, but I wish I could just see her one more time," says Bosley.
Cothran is buried at Forest Lawn. Her mom and sisters try to visit her memorial every day. Her sister, Alexis, went back to school because she was inspired by Cothran’s love of learning. She will graduate from college next week with a paralegal degree.
"I picked up my cap and gown today so when I walked to the cemetery, the sun came out when I got out of the car, so I knew she sensed me there, and she was very excited about me being there and finishing school. It was hard, but I did it for her and my kids," says Alexis Cothran.
Cothran’s nieces and nephews are so little, they don't really have many memories of her.
"My youngest daughter will be seven next month. So, when she passed she was 11 months. I have no photos of her and my sister, and that's sad. She will never see her nephew. And, they will never really like know who the person she was except for stories," says Alexis Cothran.
Cothran's family will throw a big birthday party for her on Saturday. It’s something they plan on doing every year until her killer is caught.
"Turn yourself in. It's time. You had six years of freedom, so it's time," says Alexis Cothran.
Buffalo Police say this is still an active investigation and they could use your help. The number to call if you know anything about Samantha Cothran’s murder is 716-847-2255.
Cothran was an organ donor and her mother tells us she saved at least four lives and that many of her friends were inspired to become organ donors themselves because of her.