Harmony Montgomery’s father arrested for murder

CONCORD, NH (AP) — Harmony Montgomery’s father killed the 5-year-old girl in December 2019 by repeatedly punching her in the head with a clenched fist, authorities said Monday as they announced charges in an affair which came to light when her mother said she had not seen her in over two years.

Adam Montgomery, 32, is charged with second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and abusing a corpse between December 2019 and March 2020, officials said at a press conference in Manchester, where Harmony lived with his father and stepmother.

He is also accused of tampering with a witness by trying to get his wife to give false testimony. He is to be arrested in Manchester on Tuesday.

Authorities did not say whether the girl’s body was found or provide details about what they believe Montgomery did with it. A lawyer for Adam Montgomery did not immediately comment.

Police first learned that Harmony – whose case sparked public grief and anger by exposing cracks in the child protection system – may be missing when she received a call from her mother, Crystal Sorey, in November 2021. She had been trying to locate the girl for months, police said.

Sorey said he last saw his daughter in a video phone conversation around Easter 2019.

“I’m in shock at this point, it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Sorey said in a text message Monday to The Associated Press after the charges against Montgomery were announced.

“Nobody wanted to listen to me, this could all have been avoided, but now we face the biggest battle my family will ever face!” she wrote.

State Attorney General John Formella said at the press conference that he wanted to express his “sincere condolences” to those who knew and loved Harmony.

“We understand that today’s news, while important for the purposes of this investigation, is yet another difficult time for those who loved Harmony and those who followed this matter,” Formella said.

Authorities said Aug. 11 that the case had become a homicide investigation. They said they believe Harmony was killed in Manchester, the state’s largest city, in early December 2019.

Police said they contacted Adam Montgomery, who had custody of Harmony, and other family members in late December 2021. According to court documents, police told him Harmony had not been seen for more than two years and there were concerns about whether she was still alive.

Harmony’s father and stepmother, who have since pleaded not guilty to charges related to her welfare, told police that Adam brought Harmony with Sorey to Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019.

Adam Montgomery was in court last month as his lawyers argued that some of the statements he made to police should be deleted.

They said he repeatedly told police ‘I had nothing else to say’ when asked about his daughter’s whereabouts and said he didn’t want to talk to them , but the police kept asking him questions.

He faces trial next month in an unrelated case of stolen weapons charges.

Kayla Montgomery’s bail was recently revoked after she failed to appear for a hearing on charges against her, including that she lied to state health officials about Harmony Montgomery at his own expense.

Harmony was born in Massachusetts in 2014. Her parents were unmarried, no longer together, and had a history of substance use, according to a report released this year by the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate. Adam Montgomery was in prison when she was born.

She was blind in one eye and had behavioral needs, and was taken into the custody of Massachusetts Child Protective Services when she was 2 months old. She was moved between the homes of her mother and adoptive parents multiple times, according to the report, causing “significant trauma and harm”.

Adam Montgomery won custody of Harmony in February 2019.

Harmony’s case has led to vigils and the creation of social media sites. Police offered cash rewards for information and dedicated a 24-hour information hotline to the case.

“I ask that in memory of Harmony, we all do our utmost to do something nice for a child today,” Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said at the press conference. . He added, “Just take a few moments out of your day to say something nice to a child, give them a hug, some special words of encouragement.”

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