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Everything we know about Harmony Montgomery’s disappearance

IIt’s been two weeks since Harmony Montgomery’s name made headlines in the United States when a missing persons investigation was launched to find the seven-year-old girl.

Since then, her father and stepmother have both been arrested and charged.

A house where she lived in Manchester, New Hampshire was searched for days.

And a reward for information leading to its discovery topped $100,000.

But, despite national attention and painstaking efforts to find the missing child, who is blind in one eye, investigators appear to have made little progress.

As of January 14, no one has been directly charged with Harmony’s disappearance, the search has ended, and Harmony’s fate remains unknown.

At a press conference, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg admitted he was “a little crestfallen”.

While concerning, the lack of progress is perhaps unsurprising as anyone with information about what happened to the little girl was more than two years ahead of investigators.

Manchester Police said Harmony had not been seen since around October or November 2019, when she was five years old. Yet a missing persons investigation was not launched until December 2021.

When was Harmony Montgomery last seen?

Harmony’s last confirmed sighting by law enforcement was on September 11, 2019 when Manchester police were called to the home at 77 Gilford Street in Manchester where she lived.

Harmony lived with her father Adam Montgomery, who received custody of his daughter in February 2019, as well as his wife Kayla Montgomery and their children at the property at the time.

The little girl had been in and out of foster care for much of her life.

Then, in 2018, her mother Crystal Sorey lost custody of her partly due to drug addiction.

Chief Aldenberg previously said the last police call to the property was in October 2019, but confirmed he had mixed up the dates during a January 12 press briefing.

Despite the date change, the police chief said investigators are still working on the belief that Harmony was last seen in October or November this year.

This timeline appears to be based on interviews with police and statements from various family members.

Missing posters of seven-year-old Harmony Montgomery missing

(PA)

Ms Sorey told police she had not been able to contact her since they spoke on a video call in April 2019. After that, she said Mr Montgomery cut off all contact between her and her daughter.

Mr Montgomery told investigators he last saw his daughter around Thanksgiving 2019, saying Ms Sorey picked her up in Manchester to take her to live with her.

The criminal complaint says Mr Montgomery claimed to believe his daughter was living with his ex and did ‘not show much emotion or reaction’ when officers said they feared Harmony was alive when they contacted him in December.

Her story was also contradicted by the account of Mrs. Montgomery, who said she last saw Harmony the day after Thanksgiving when her husband said he was driving her to see Mrs. Sorey.

Mr Montgomery’s uncle, Kevin Montgomery, told investigators he had not seen Harmony or her nephew since late 2019, when she was five.

Who has been charged?

Harmony’s father and his wife were both arrested and charged on charges related to the missing child in early January.

Mr. Montgomery was arrested on January 4 and charged with second-degree assault, two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one misdemeanor count of interference with custody.

For assault, he is accused of having “struck [Harmony] in the face” in July 2019, giving him a black eye, according to the criminal complaint.

Police interviews with other family members revealed that Mr Montgomery was allegedly violent towards his daughter, including giving her a black eye, forcing her to clean the toilet with her own toothbrush and making her stand in a corner for hours as punishment.

Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, in his booking photo

(PA)

Mr Montgomery’s brother, Michael Montgomery, told investigators he was ‘concerned that Adam was physically abusive’ towards the child and was ‘super short’ with her.

Kevin Montgomery said he noticed Harmony had a black eye in July 2019, which his nephew confessed to causing by punching her in the face, according to the criminal complaint.

“I hit her in that house,” he said, his nephew told him.

Kevin said he contacted the DCYF at the time and also noticed that Mr. Montgomery was subjecting Harmony to other forms of “abusive discipline”, including scrubbing the toilet with his toothbrush and giving her a “strong spanking on the buttocks”.

Mr Montgomery has a history of violence and a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for shooting a man in the head in a drug deal just six months before Harmony was born.

He was also convicted in 2010 of assaulting two women at gunpoint.

Kayla Montgomery is pictured in her photo after her arrest

(Manchester NH Police)

Officials said Mr Montgomery was not cooperating with the investigation and refused to say the whereabouts of his daughter.

The day after her husband’s arrest, Ms Montgomery was arrested on a felony charge of welfare fraud for allegedly fraudulently collecting welfare benefits for the missing child between December 2019 and June 2021.

Ms Montgomery, who has three children with her husband, is accused of fraudulently obtaining $1,500 in food stamps intended for Harmony between December 2019 and June 2021 when the girl was not living with them.

Prosecutors have now dropped that welfare fraud charge and added three new charges – one count of theft by deception and two misdemeanor welfare fraud charges.

The charges accuse Ms Montgomery of making intentional misrepresentations about the fate of her stepdaughter in February and March 2021 in order to claim benefits.

Although the couple have been charged with counts related to Harmony, no charges have been brought against anyone directly in relation to her disappearance.

Why wasn’t she missing for two years?

Questions have arisen about how a baby girl could not be seen for more than two years without any action being taken by the authorities.

Several family members said they raised concerns for Harmony’s safety with the New Hampshire Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) over the past two years.

Ms Sorey has accused authorities of ‘abandoning’ her daughter. She said she tried several times to report her concerns to children’s services.

On November 18, she contacted Manchester Police saying she believed her daughter was missing.

Officers contacted the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) regarding the location of the missing child. Then, on December 27, the DCYF reported that they were also unable to locate Harmony.

Manchester Police announced a search was launched on December 31.

Crystal Sorey, mother of Harmony Montgomery, speaks out at a vigil for her daughter

(NBC Boston)

Emails emerged this week from Ms Sorey to the Mayor of Manchester’s office asking for help in finding her daughter.

“Please I ask for your help in finding my daughter,” she wrote on December 29.

Ms Sorey said Mr Montgomery never enrolled their daughter in school and that she had missed ‘important doctor’s appointments she had since she was a baby due to a visual impairment”.

The emails were sent just two days before police finally reported Harmony missing.

Apart from repeated attempts to sound the alarm, the family was well known to child services.

Newly released recordings, released on January 12, have emerged showing officers were called to the Gilford Street home at least 10 times between February 2019 – when Mr Montgomery was granted custody of Harmony – and when she was last seen in the fall.

Reports ranged from allegations of domestic disturbances to animal welfare and concerns about living conditions at home.

The DCYF has been made aware of some incidents.

A neighbor said The independent that it was a “bad situation” at the property, describing many people living there at different times, adults seen arguing in the street, trash left piled up in the yard and electricity cut off at one point.

Officers saw missing 5-year-old in September 2019′: Police chief in Harmony Montgomery case

“We didn’t meddle with them because it was a bad situation,” she said.

“There were a lot of different people living there, piles of trash in the driveway, trash outside.

“The power went out and they ran the generator all summer with the wiring running through the window.”

The neighbor said the Montgomerys were ‘basically hunkered down’ at the house when it fell into foreclosure and Mr and Mrs Montgomery refused to leave.

She said she left for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2019 and returned to find the family had finally packed up and moved on.

This coincides with when Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery claim to have last seen the little girl.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced Jan. 12 that the DCYF was conducting an internal review of its handling of Harmony’s case.

However, the governor defended the state’s work saying, “As soon as we found out that this child may not have been in school for a while, it was brought to our attention.”

“The team got into it. It was not a delay. It didn’t sit in a folder on someone’s desk.

Where is Harmony?

Investigators have revealed few details about what they believe happened to Harmony.

The Gilford Street property was the subject of much of the search with investigators seen in the house and backyard for several days.

However, Manchester Police said the search ended there. It is unclear if anything of interest has been discovered and no further search locations have been identified.

The search continues for Harmony Montgomery who has not been seen in two years

(Manchester Police Department)

Around 300 tips have been received from the public so far and the reward for information on Harmony’s disappearance has exceeded $100,000.

Chief Aldenberg insisted on January 12 that they were still working on the belief that Harmony was alive.

However, he admitted he was “a bit discouraged” by the case so far and pleaded with the public to provide information.

He added: “Someone out there knows something.”

Anyone with information is asked to call or text 603-203-606


The Independent Gt

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