Baby Richard Gamboa Jr. was just three days old when he was kidnapped by his mother’s murderer in 1980. The Gamboa murder/kidnapping is the focus of Oxygen’s Buried in the Backyard season three premiere, airing Thursday, September 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Here’s what you need to know about what happened to baby Richard and where he is today.
Baby Gamboa Is A Father and About to Be Married
Richard Gamboa Jr. is the proud father to a boy and a girl. He is divorced from his first wife, but he is about to remarry. According to the wedding website, on September 19, 2020, Gamboa is marrying his longtime friend Christina Moreno.
Their wedding story reads, “I met Richard 2001 at Denny’s, I was the hostess and he was a busser. He was mad that I had taken his hostess position. So he was quite the brat, he used to give me a hard time and would spray me down with the dish hose. We built a great friendship. Started hanging out then decided to stay friends. We came back together as friends in 2012, we were there for each other through some really hard times. Then life took us in different directions again. In 2017, I was sitting on my front porch as he drove by and saw me … We went out that night and have been together ever since. Third time really is a charm. We are inseparable, we love to be with each other he is my best friend, lover, and companion. We really are blessed to have each other.”
In a Facebook post about the Oxygen show, Moreno writes (edited for spelling):
When Richard Gamboa was asked to do this show on Oxygen about him and his mom, he was so scared. He stood strong and faced his past which he had buried for so long. I’ve always have supported him in all the decisions in life, but this one was rough to watch him go through.
He decided that telling the story of his mama was so important. He also hoped to help other people to be aware of what kind of people are out there. It really was such a tragedy for him and his family. But every one of them pulled together to tell Bonnie and Rich’s story, it was sad to watch but so healing. I definitely know this was not easy for Rich but he became a better man after speaking about it and letting it all out.
This family is strong and love each other very much. It so amazing to see the love that they all share. I’m sure Bonnie is proud of her sister Barbara for being there for Rich through his life and being his rock. I know Bonnie has been there for Rich his whole life cheering him on from heaven. I’m so grateful to her for doing her best to protect him threw his life. I’m so lucky to be able to have him in my life, he really was meant to be here. This show will be on Oxygen Sept 3rd, in loving memory of Bonnie Gamboa.
Gamboa Was Raised by His Aunt and Uncle
It is remarkable that Gamboa has found such happiness considering the tragedies that befell him at such a young age. When he was just an infant, Mary Alice Wry murdered his mother Bonnie, and kidnapped him. The family had no idea what had happened to Bonnie or the baby for over a week, until eventually Wry was found with the baby and Bonnie’s body later turned up in an orchard outside Modesto, California.
“I was told when I came home my dad was overwhelmed with emotion, full of joy and pain at the same time because one of us came home and the other didn’t,” said Gamboa in the Buried in the Backyard premiere, adding, “My dad was broken …. it was like a piece of him died with [my mother].”
Gamboa went on to say that eight years after his mother’s death, his father, Richard Sr., “lost his own battle with addiction.”
“I really got angry, I lashed out at the world, but eventually, I moved in with my aunt and uncle. They treat me like one of their kids,” he said, adding, “Once I got married and had kids, all that anger and pain went away.”
Bonnie Gamboa’s Killer Is Serving Life in Prison
After more than a week, Mary Alice Wry was found with baby Richard after an anonymous tip led authorities to her home. Wry had hatched a scheme to kidnap a newborn by posing as a baby photographer because she wanted to have a baby with her boyfriend but was unable to due to a tubal ligation after she already had four children. She faked a pregnancy and then brought the newborn home, telling her boyfriend she had given birth at the doctor’s office.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, Wry pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping and one count of murder and received life in prison without the possibility of parole. Court documents show she petitioned the California Court of Appeal for a rehearing but was denied in 1987.
Buried in the Backyard season three airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.