MANCHESTER, N.H. — Police officers worked under gray skies in a steady, freezing rain Sunday continuing their search for missing 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery at the Gilford Street home where the little girl lived before she disappeared more than two years ago.
Officers returned to the scene at 77 Gilford St. Sunday morning after spending much of the day Saturday at the house, according to New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill. Investigators were also at the house on Jan. 2.
The investigation, which began in November following a frantic call to Manchester police from Harmony’s biological mother, led to the arrest Tuesday of Harmony’s father, Adam M. Montgomery, who has had custody of the girl since February 2019.
He faces several charges, including felony second-degree assault, after allegedly abusing his daughter in 2019. Montgomery’s wife, Kayla, was arrested Wednesday and charged with welfare fraud for taking benefits meant for Harmony.
On Sunday morning, officers could be seen lugging an orange bucket and blue tarp behind the yellow Cape-style home at 77 Gilford St., to the house’s backyard, which was blocked off by police tape.
Officers carried sheets of home insulation down the driveway and tossed them into the bed of a parked Manchester police truck around 10:30 a.m. They left about 10 minutes later.
A Manchester police cruiser was parked across the street from the residence throughout the day.
The current residents of 77 Gilford St. are not connected with the investigation and have cooperated with law enforcement, officials have said.
Officials have declined to release any information about what they are looking for and did not provide details over the weekend about their activities on the property.
O’Neill said in an e-mail Sunday only that there was “ongoing police activity” at the house and did not answer questions about the insulation, or the other items at the scene.
The dense neighborhood around the house consists of modest-sized single-family homes on small lots. The backyards abut one another and the homes are only a few feet apart.
For much of Saturday, police limited access on Gilford Street to investigators and residents but reopened it that evening as they left the scene.
Harmony’s biological mother, Crystal Renee Sorey, said she hasn’t seen the girl since a video call around Easter 2019, according to court papers. The search for Harmony began after Sorey reported to Manchester police Nov. 18 she hadn’t seen her daughter for a long time.
Police have said Montgomery, 31, told them he last saw his daughter on Thanksgiving 2019. He has not cooperated in the investigation, according to investigators, and refused to say where the girl was during a Dec. 31 interview, police have said.
Aside from the felony assault charge, Montgomery also faces two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child and a count of interference with custody.
He was awarded custody of Harmony by a Massachusetts juvenile court in February 2019. He has a lengthy criminal history, which includes shooting another man in the face during a drug deal in Haverhill in 2014. Police said Montgomery had also told relatives he had physically attacked Harmony in the past.
Kayla Montgomery, 31, is accused of collecting more than $1,500 in food stamp benefits intended for Harmony, investigators have said. She told New Hampshire officials June 2 that Harmony had moved back in with her biological mother, Sorey, according to court filings.
Sorey lost custody of her daughter in 2018 due to substance abuse issues, which was a problem Harmony’s father also had, according to court records.
A brother of Sorey’s told the Globe he hadn’t heard anything new about the investigation as of Sunday evening.
At a candlelight vigil for her daughter Saturday evening, Sorey criticized authorities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire — as well as herself — for failing Harmony.
She told the Globe Saturday that she continued to hold onto hope that Harmony was still alive.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m hostile at this point,” Sorey said. “I have a lot of hostility to a lot of people that failed my daughter. And I’m included, I’m always going to own the fact that I played my part on this. But I never gave up on her.”
A $94,000 reward has been offered for information leading to Harmony’s whereabouts, according to Manchester police. Anyone with information about Harmony’s disappearance is urged to call a 24-hour tip line at 603-203-6060.
Jessica Rinaldi of the Globe staff contributed to this report.