It's been more than three decades since anyone has seen Rochelle Ihm. The last person to see her alive is now dead.

Ihm went missing on a July Sunday afternoon in 1986.

The young paralegal took a flight from her new home in San Diego back to her hometown, Phoenix.

She arrived in Phoenix Friday night and spent the next two days catching up with friends.

It was supposed to be a weekend of fun before she started her new job back in California, but it was a position she would never end up filling.

Today, Denise Ihm Abendour tries to find peace decades after the disappearance of her 20-year-old sister.

"She was very intelligent, very fun-loving," Denise said. "And it's a shame her life was cut short, if that's what happened."

Rochelle never showed up for her job in California, which Denise says was the first sign that something was wrong.

Rochelle's family said that last person to see her alive was someone they were shocked was even involved in her life.

Robert Yama.

Yama was the family's former landscaper, who was a dozen years older than Rochelle. Yama paid for Rochelle's flight from San Diego to Phoenix.

"I don't know if he had romantic aspirations for Rochelle or not," Phoenix police Detective Stuart Somershoe said.

Why Rochelle accepted that free flight is unclear.

Rochelle's friends told police she spent the weekend partying with them and that Yama was not pleased.

"He was not happy that she was at a party instead of spending time with him," Denise said. "He kept calling throughout the night and then came to pick her up the next day."

Yama insisted from the start that he had nothing to do with Rochelle's disappearance.

He claimed that he dropped her off in downtown Phoenix at a bus station.

"She definitely didn't take a bus from Phoenix to San Diego, we know that," Detective Somershoe said.

According to Denise, Yama did make his interest in Rochelle known, though.

"He made comments to my mother about his attraction to her," Denise said. "My gut tells me that he picked her up and something happened."

"His cooperation faded kind of quickly," Somershoe said.

Yama was never charged. He died in 2005.

"I would say I'd have a lot of questions for him if he was still around," Somershoe said.

Denise said she believes her sister was probably killed, but that doesn't stop her from wishing the best.

"I still hold out hope, I suppose, that someone might come forward," she said.