PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — There’s a push in the state legislature to name July 16 in Bellamy Gamboa’s honor.
The Virginia Beach mother disappeared from her home last summer.
Police charged her ex-boyfriend with murder, but Gamboa’s body has never been found.
Gamboa’s sister Charisse lives on the West Coast, and says although she lives a busy life, she spends any free time working to bring justice to her sister, and help Bellamy’s children and community remember who she was.
She said this opportunity is truly an honor, and reminds her all this hard work is worth it.
For the Gamboa family, July 2018 will forever be the month their sister, daughter, mother and friend disappeared from their life, and while they are coming to terms with her fate, one date will forever hold a special place in their hearts.
“Now every July 16, Bellamy’s birthday, we will remember her,” said Charisse Gamboa.
“I think this is the least we can start with, is to honor her and have a recognized day for her on the calendar,” she added.
Local delegate Kelly Fowler said on Thursday, February 20, Bellamy’s family will be attending the General Assembly session.
The Gamboa family will also be accepting a separate copy of the motion to adjourn or a copy of the resolution (depending on timing) celebrating her life.
“On that day, we will also be motioning to adjourn in her memory,” Fowler said. “The motion to adjourn in the memory of a person is just one more way that we as a General Assembly can recognize Bellamy, celebrate her life, and bring attention to the issue of domestic violence in our community.”
Charisse says it’s unbelievable to think that the commonwealth’s leaders will commemorate her late sister.
“I would never think that the state would recognize my sister and her story, and it’s also for her children to know who she is, who she was. We don’t want to just focus on the tragedy of the story, but you know the reality is her children are motherless, and we need to honor her,” Charisse said.
Fowler says the Gamboa family was in touch with her office shortly after Bellamy disappeared, and their campaign was supportive of the efforts to search for her when they were all still hopeful that she would be found.
Fowler believes this is an important issue that can touch many different lives going forward.
“This issue many times is hidden in our community, and good people, adults and children, suffer because of it. If we can bring awareness to one household, even one person, and put the spark in their minds to look for a way out of their situation, to let them know that there is a community here waiting to help them, if we can save just one life, that is one more family that doesn’t have to mourn the loss of a loved one. We need to do better as a society, and we need to make sure that we are providing the resources for those most in need of our assistance,” she said.
“July will always be in our hearts because that is the month she disappeared, so it was a crazy tough month, and it’s good to have a heartwarming day,” Charisse said.
The memorial resolution can be found or here.