‘He snapped’: Confessed killer’s brother wonders what triggered Bellamy Gamboa’s murder

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Lamont Johnson is described by his younger brother as a “kind-hearted, humble” man who cared deeply for the one-year-old infants he shared with the woman he confessed to killing. 

James Crockett says the murder of Bellamy Gamboa is “disheartening,” but he wants to know more about what led up to the 40-year-old’s death. 

“I would like to send my condolences to the Gamboa family and the Johnson family,” said Crockett. “It’s a tragic situation that took place and I just hope it doesn’t get prolonged any longer than what it already has.”

Related: Suspect in Gamboa’s death withdraws bond hearing request

Johnson confessed to pushing Gamboa down the stairs at the Diamond Springs Apartments, falling on top of her and then choking her until she died, according to court records. 

“If that is what happened, he snapped and there is something that triggered that,” said Crockett. “I feel like possibly if there was another person that was involved with her, [it] probably ignited something.”

“To willingly give yourself to someone that much and for anything other than loyalty in return, that can trigger that in anybody.”

Johnson told WAVY.com on July 5 that Gamboa was his ex-girlfriend and she left the home around 10 p.m. on July 1 after the two got into an argument. Johnson has since confessed to to investigators that he killed Gamboa on July 1.  

Crockett says he believes Johnson and Gamboa were still together. 

“He was 100 percent into that relationship. He wanted to make it work for the kids,” said Crockett, who spoke to 10 On Your Side on Tuesday outside the Virginia Beach Courthouse where Johnson withdrew his request for a bond hearing. “They were together at a birthday party a week before she went missing.”

Crockett says he hasn’t yet talked to his brother from jail, but he wants him to know he has support. 

Lamont Johnson/Photo: Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office

“I don’t want him to feel like the whole world is against him,” he said. “For him to snap and lose it, it’s totally out of his character. He’s a great guy.”

For 28 days, police and the community searched for Gamboa near her home and in Lake Edward where her car was found two days after her disappearance. 

Gamboa’s sister, Charisse, says Johnson did not participate in any searches. 

Even though Johnson has confessed to the murder, police say they are still working to recover Gamboa’s body. Police remain tight-lipped about where they are searching. 

Crockett says, “If he did something to her, I do wish he would have said something sooner.”

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