VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The red wooden silhouette stood in silent tribute to the life of Bellamy Gamboa on Monday night at Town Center. It was a painful reminder of the mother's tragic killing earlier this summer.
Domestic violence advocates unveiled the silhouette in front of supporters and her family during a ceremony to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"We are maintaining. We're doing what we have to do to keep moving," said Scott Hall, her cousin. "We think about her every day."
Virginia Beach Police say the father of Gamboa's two young twins killed her over the summer. Court documents say Lamont Johnson confessed to choking her until her died. One of the detectives who investigated the case addressed the crowd.
"She was no stranger to domestic violence, but she loved her children and she was not going to leave them," said Det. Lanis Geluso.
Tragically, Gamboa was not able to escape and her body still hasn't been found. "Bellamy is no longer here to protect her babies, but she is here this evening. She is with us and she's pleading with all of you to not turn away. Do not ignore the warning signs," Geluso said.
During the ceremony, organizers read the names of 14 people who have been killed in the past year in Hampton Roads by a family member or intimate partner. They want everyone to know help is out there. "I think people can learn from this tragic event and take domestic violence as a serious issue," said Emmanuel Gamboa, her father.
The ceremony was organized by the Hampton Roads Military & Civilian Family Violence Prevention Council. Here is a listing of available resources.