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Virginia Beach moves forward with murder charge despite lack of body

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors in Virginia are expected to bring a man to trial on murder charges, even though his former girlfriend’s body was never found.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Saturday that Virginia Beach is working on what could be the 11th bodiless murder case to be tried in Virginia.

The case is against 41-year-old Lamont Johnson. He is charged in the death of Bellamy Gamboa. Police spent $50,000 unsuccessfully trying to find her body in a landfill. A trial date is yet to be set.

Despite the challenges, such cases have a higher national conviction rate than the overall conviction rate for killings. That’s likely because only the strongest cases proceed.

Evidence often includes phone and bank records and testimony from relatives that the victim would never pick up and leave.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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