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Father of missing N.H. girl arrested on assault charge

Manchester Police Public Information Officer Heather Hamel held two reward posters at the police station showing photos of missing Harmony Montgomery on Tuesday.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The father of Harmony Montgomery, a seven-year-old New Hampshire girl who has not been seen since 2019, refused to tell Manchester police where the child was during a New Year’s Eve interview and also allegedly acknowledged to relatives he had physically attacked the child in the past, according to court records.

Adam Montgomery faces a charge of felony second-degree assault allegedly against Harmony in 2019, a misdemeanor count of interference with custody, and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child pertaining to Harmony, authorities said.

Montgomery didn’t appear in court Wednesday as initially scheduled, but a judge ordered him held without bail “based on clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s release will endanger the safety of the defendant or of the public,” legal filings state.

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Montgomery, 31, was arrested Tuesday by Manchester police. He is being prosecuted by New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella’s office.

The Massachusetts juvenile court awarded custody of Harmony to Montgomery in February 2019, according to a statement released Wednesday afternoon by Maria Mossaides, director of the Office of the Child Advocate in Massachusetts.

Montgomery’s arrest was welcomed by a relative of the child’s mother, Crystal Renee Sorey.

“I’m glad he’s in custody and he’s not just walking the streets,” said Timothy Flanagan, Jr., Harmony’s uncle and the brother of Sorey.

Mossaides said her office is reviewing the case.

“We are aware of the evolving situation regarding Harmony Montgomery’s disappearance and share the public’s grave concern for her safety and well-being,” she said in a statement. “We are hopeful that Harmony will be found soon.”

Her statement also said that Department of Children Families does not have the legal authority to monitor cases when a custodial parent moves out of state unless an interstate compact is executed. DCF didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment on Wednesday.

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According to a Manchester police affidavit filed in court Wednesday, Adam Montgomery refused to disclose his daughter’s current whereabouts during the New Year’s Eve interview. At the time, Montgomery was living in a car with a new girlfriend, court records state.

“We each emphasized that our primary concern is locating H.M. and establishing that she is safe,’’ police wrote in the affidavit. “Adam stopped answering questions multiple times and stated, ‘I have nothing else to say.’”

Montgomery claimed the last time he saw his child was Thanksgiving 2019 and at that time, he was with her mother, who was then living in Lowell. Told that Sorey insisted Harmony was with him during 2019, Montgomery refused to answer police. Police quoted Montgomery as telling them, “Not talking to you,” and “I have nothing to say,” as well as, “If I’m not under arrest, I’m leaving.”

Police also wrote that Montgomery’s relatives notified the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families in late 2019 that Adam Montgomery had admitted hitting the child in the face with such force that it left her with a black eye. The relative, according to police, quoted Montgomery as saying, " ‘I bashed her around this house,’ " according to police.

Authorities now allege Montgomery physically abused the child between July 1 and July 22, 2019. They also allege he has actively endangered the welfare of his daughter since November 2019, continuing into this week, court records stated.

According to Massachusetts court records and relatives, Sorey was pregnant with the child in January 2014 when Montgomery shot a man in the head during a drug deal in Haverhill.

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Crystal Sorey lost custody of the child while living in Massachusetts in 2018, she told Manchester police.

Adam Montgomery was arrested on Tuesday in Manchester and is charged with felony second-degree assault for alleged “conduct against Harmony Montgomery” in 2019.Heather Hamel/Manchester (N,H.) Police Department

Harmony Montgomery was 5 when she was spotted in Manchester in November 2019 in her father’s custody, according to court records. The search for the child is ongoing, authorities said.

“Officials are continuing to search for Harmony and are requesting the public’s assistance in locating her,” the statement said.

Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg told reporters Monday that the New Hampshire child protection agency notified Manchester police last week that Harmony was missing.

“Somewhere out there this little girl is in need of help, and that’s our job, and I need your help on helping us to find her safe so the next time we meet, maybe we meet with some good news,” Aldenberg said during a briefing Monday, which was streamed by WMUR-TV.

Harmony Montgomery had been entangled with the criminal justice system and social services agencies even before she was born, starting with the arrest of her mother, who was four months pregnant, in 2014. The mother was charged with helping Montgomery evade police after the Haverhill shooting; the charges against her were later dropped.

Crystal Renee Sorey in a booking photo from 2014. Haverhill District Court

In Massachusetts, Adam Montgomery pleaded guilty in connection with the 2014 Haverhill shooting and was given an 18-month suspended sentence to be served concurrently with an unrelated criminal case, records show. The unrelated conviction was not immediately known Wednesday.

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When Harmony was nine months old in April 2015, Crystal Sorey was living in a North Shore shelter for mothers with substance abuse issues while Montgomery was in a Massachusetts Department of Correction prerelease center in Roslindale, court records show.

One of Crystal Sorey’s children was adopted through DCF in Massachusetts , the adoptive family told the Globe. When the family inquired about Harmony, however, they were told by the child protection agency that Harmony had been placed in the custody of her father in 2019.

Blair Miller, who along with his husband adopted Harmony’s brother, Jamison, in 2019, told the Globe the couple has remained in contact with Sorey following the adoption and have been following the search for Harmony Montgomery closely.

“Every moment, ever since Friday when Harmony’s mom called us, our only focus is: do what it takes for Harmony to come home,” said Miller.

“Someone out there knows something, and as the reward goes up, I just pray that someone says, ‘You know what, I do know something,’” he said. Authorities have offered a reward that has increased to $43,000 for anyone providing information that leads to finding the child.

Flanagan, Harmony’s maternal uncle, said Tuesday night that his sister — who has battled addiction — hasn’t seen Harmony since October 2019.

“As a family, we’re pretty torn over it,” Flanagan said. “How does your kid come up missing for two years?”

“I just want her home,” Flanagan said.

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According to New Hampshire court records, Adam Montgomery’s turbulent history dates back to his teenage years when he was prosecuted as a juvenile — and continues into last year when he was charged with stalking his estranged wife and three children at a New Hampshire home.

Montgomery’s interaction with the New Hampshire courts began at the age of 12 when a petition seeking to have him treated as a juvenile delinquent was filed, court records show. He drew juvenile court attention when he was 14 years old and again when he was 16 years old, records show. The first criminal charge against him in adult court was filed when he was 17 years old, records show.

Last year, he was prosecuted in Manchester court for stalking his estranged wife and her three children and resisting arrest, among other charges, and was given a one-year sentence that was suspended for two years. He was ordered to undergo mental health counseling, records show.

He is currently described as homeless in court records.

Laura Crimaldi of the Globe staff contributed. Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report. This is a breaking story that will be updated.


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Dugan Arnett can be reached at dugan.arnett@globe.com. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.