VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — A Virginia Beach man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of Bellamy Gamboa, MPO Patrick Kane said in a news release.
"During the course of the investigation, Lamont Johnson (age 41) of Virginia Beach, was developed as a suspect in the missing person case of Bellamy M. Gamboa," Kane said.
Johnson is the ex-boyfriend of Bellamy Gamboa.
Kane said in the news release that the "recovery location of Bellamy M. Gamboa is still unknown."
Johnson is also charged with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Those charges are related to specific events involving the children held in common between Johnson and Bellamy Gamboa, Kane said.
On Sunday, Bellamy Gamboa's sister Charisse confirmed it was Lamont that was arrested and charged.
Neighbor Joyce Mason lives two doors down from Gamboa, and helped in the search. “I saw a flyer stating that the young lady was missing. I was looking and waiting, but I saw a lot of search parties,” said Mason.
Neighbor Eddie Davis said he saw police at Gamboa and Johnson’s apartment throughout Saturday.
“Saw them take his car, which was a burgundy [Dodge] Charger, and after that, they just been in and out all day long. Saw them take out a firearm -- which was an AR -- car seats, and stuff in bags that we really couldn’t say what it was,” said Davis.
On Sunday evening, the Gamboa family released this statement:
A message to our family and friends, as well as our community:
We would like to express our gratitude for everyone who is offering their support and kind words.
On behalf of the Gamboa family, we would like to continue to fight to BRING BELLAMY HOME, as this is our priority.
It will not be in our place to comment on anything regarding the critical investigation as that will remain VBPD’s priority.
We have been receiving many questions, flooded inboxes, texts, voicemails, however this is a very sensitive time and ask the public to respect their privacy.
To all family members, both the public and media are realizing how large our blood line is in the Hampton Roads community.
News crews have been knocking door-to-door asking for interviews or comments.
It is absolutely imperative that we refrain and speak nothing other than to thank our wonderful supporters and community.
If you would like to help in any way, please visit the gofundme page at www.gofundme.com/bringbellamyhome
Our purpose for the funds remain the same and our mission to find Bellamy still stands.
Donating will also assist in contributing to both the short and long term necessary expenses of the 4 children.
Thank you all,
Cousin and Godsissy of Bellamy and Charisse Gamboa
Bellamy was last seen at her apartment on Diamond Springs Road and Shore Drive on July 1.
After several search parties, FBI officials say Bellamy's disappearance is suspicious. Two days after she went missing, Virginia Beach Police officers found her car on Pickering Street, next to a dumpster.
A timeline of the Bellamy Gamboa missing persons case
- July 1 -- Bellamy Malaki Gamboa is last seen at her home in 2100 block of Carrene Drive in Virginia Beach.
- July 3 -- Police find Gamboa’s four-door 2005 gold Ford Focus next to a dumpster in the 5800 block of Pickering Street in the Lake Edward neighborhood.
- July 5 -- Virginia State Police issues a Critically Missing Adult Alert ("Ashanti Alert"). Police say Gamboa's disappearance is suspicious because it's not like her to be away from her infant children and not to show up for work. Investigators think someone abducted her.
- July 7 -- Gamboa's sister, Charisse, arrives in Hampton Roads from California. Longtime family friend Jeremy Gatbonton organizes a full-scale search. People meet at the Philippine Cultural Center, divide into teams, then search across Virginia Beach. As part of the search, a privately hired search dog joins volunteers as they search the Lake Edward area.
- July 8 -- Additional searches take place. Gamboa's family holds a news conference pleading for her safe return.
- July 9 -- Family friend Beverly Gatbonton tells 13NewsNow people are using social media to broaden the search. They created the social media page BRING Bellamy HOME. Comedian Marlon Wayans and Virginia Beach native rapper Pusha T. are among celebrities sharing posts about Gamboa's disappearance.
- July 15 – A fundraiser takes place at Buko Restaurant in Virginia Beach. Proceeds go to the Gamboa Family and its search
- July 16 -- Relatives host a private event marking Bellamy Gamboa's 40th birthday. The same day, there is a public candlelight vigil at the Manor House on Crown Grant Court in Virginia Beach.
- July 25 -- The “Ashanti Alert” issued for Gamboa expires. This did not mean the search for Gamboa ended. Missing person alerts like the Ashanti Alert for adults or AMBER Alert for children can expire after a period if no new information comes out that can help advance the search.
- July 29 -- Gamboa's ex-boyfriend, Lamont Johnson, is booked into the Virgina Beach Correctional Center on several charges including Second Degree Murder. The sheriff's office's records show that the murder of which Johnson is accused took place on July 1, the same date Gamboa's family last saw her. Police did not confirm that he is accused of killing Gamboa. Johnson faces four other charges related to contributing to the delinquency or abuse of a child. The dates listed for those offenses are July 2 and July 3.
Our previous report:
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