Bellamy Malaki Gamboa

Gamboa, circa 2018; Some of Gamboa's tattoos; Lamont Johnson

  • Missing Since 07/01/2018
  • Missing From Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Asian, Biracial, Pacific Islander
  • Date of Birth 07/16/1978 (45)
  • Age 39 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 135 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Gold 2005 Ford Focus (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Biracial (Asian/Pacific Islander) female. Black hair, brown eyes. Gamboa has the following tattoos: a small flower on her right foot, band of roses on her upper right arm, and a half-sleeve on her upper left arm. Photos of her arm tattoos are posted with this case summary. Her ears and nose are pierced. Gamboa is of Filipino descent.

Details of Disappearance

Gamboa was last seen in Virginia Beach, Virginia sometime between 8:30 and 10:00 p.m. on July 1, 2018. She has never been heard from again. She was reported missing the next day, when she didn't show up for work in Norfolk, Virginia.

That same day, her gold 2005 Ford Focus was found parked next to a dumpster on Pickering Street near Lake Edward, four miles from her home. The driver's seat was pushed all the way back, further than it should have been for a driver of Gamboa's height, and there was blood and vomit on the driver's side door. Gamboa's purse, wallet and identification were inside the car, but her keys were missing.

At the time of her disappearance, Gamboa lived in a townhouse near Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach with her ex-boyfriend, Lamont Johnson, their twin toddlers, and Gamboa's two teenage children from a previous relationship.

A photo of Johnson is posted with this case summary. His relationship with Gamboa had been violent before; in March 2017, each of them filed for an emergency protective order against the other after two arguments turned physical. Both cases were eventually dismissed. On July 28, almost a month after Gamboa's disappearance, Johnson was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in her case.

Johnson confessed that he had shoved Gamboa down a flight of stairs during an argument, then strangled her to death after she threatened to have him jailed. He stated he felt "relief" after her death. He used his work computer and his cellular phone to search for dumpster locations and garbage routes.

Johnson stated he wrapped Gamboa's body in a black comforter and garbage bags and put it in a dumpster behind a Dollar General and Pizza Hut in Chesapeake, Virginia. Investigators believe it was taken to the Hampton Landfill. They searched the landfill for a time, spending more than $50,000, but called the search off in early August.

In May 2022, Johnson was tried for Gamboa's murder. He was convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The jury recommended a sentence of 25 years and six months in prison.

Gamboa spent most of her childhood in Japan, where her father, a Navy sailor, was stationed in the 1990s. She joined the military after high school, left it in 2000, and moved to Virginia Beach. She's described as a dedicated mother who was very involved in her children's lives. She was attending Tidewater Community College and hoped to become a licensed customs broker.

Johnson is awaiting trial in her presumed death. Foul play is suspected in Gamboa's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Virginia Beach Police Department 757-385-4141

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 29, 2022; details of disappearance updated.