VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. â€“ Bellamy Gamboa has not been seen since July. Weeks after she disappeared, her ex-boyfriend and father of her toddler twins confessed to killing the mother of four at the Virginia Beach home they shared over the summer.
Police have stopped looking for her body. Her family has even come to terms that they may never get it back.
While those closest to the 39-year-old have found ways to cope with her death, they say the state of Virginia isnâ€™t making it easy for them to move on.
â€śWe are reliving the nightmare,â€ť explained Charisse Gamboa, Bellamyâ€™s sister. â€śWhile it died down after her memorial in September, we received news in October that a judge will not declare her dead. Itâ€™s like sheâ€™s non-existent to her home state.â€ť
Without Bellamy being declared dead, Charisse says the family is unable to access the benefits Bellamy set up for her children.
â€śBellamy worked her entire young adult life. She dedicated her time and skill and was responsible in making sure her children would benefit if she were to ever leave this life,â€ť said Charisse.
Area insurance companies tell News 3 after a family member dies, it is standard procedure for beneficiaries to file a death claim. In order to do that, beneficiaries need a certified copy of a death certificate.
Without a body, Bellamyâ€™s family says theyâ€™re stuck.
That leaves the family with only two options: Wait for Johnsonâ€™s case to play out in its entirety in court or hire a civil attorney to help with such a case. Charisse says neither option is ideal for the family, but they are leaning more towards hiring an attorney instead of waiting for Johnsonâ€™s case to move through the justice system.
To help with costs for the attorney, canceled travel expenses, prior engagements and the benefit of her children, Charisse says the family is accepting donations on their GoFundMe page, â€śJustice 4 Bellamy.â€ť