RICHMOND, VA — In a seemingly simple and quick acknowledgment, this was the moment at the Virginia House of Delegates that carried a volume of significance.
39-year-old Bellamy Gamboa, who was a victim of domestic violence, was given a special tribute at the state capitol on Wednesday.
With the help of family friend Kristine Torres Caalim, who has worked with state legislators and the Gamboa family, Virginia lawmakers passed a resolution on Monday to celebrate the life of this mother of four, who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend around the time of her disappearance on July 1st last year.
Delegate Kelly Corvis Fowler, who is part Filipino, also presented the Gamboa family with a signed proclamation from Governor Ralph Northam, declaring July 16, 2019 be recognized as Bellamy Gamboa Day.
Bellamy would have been 41 years old on July 16th.
“I sincerely hope that this recognition will not only serve to honor her memory but will spread awareness of domestic violence as well.”
According to reports, Gamboa filed at least two police reports accusing Lamont Johnson, the father of her young twin children of physically harming her. But she dropped the charges fearing Johnson would then harm her children.
After a month of her disappearance, police arrested Johnson. Investigators say Johnson admitted to killing Gamboa but her body was never found. Johnson’s second-degree murder trial is scheduled to begin in April.
Since her disappearance, the Gamboa family has been working to share her story and raising awareness of domestic violence.
In 2016 alone, there were 158 family and intimate partner homicides in Virginia.