Authorities are continuing to search for 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery, who went missing in the fall of 2019 in New Hampshire and whose father is currently charged criminally in connection with her disappearance.
Here’s what we know so far about the case.
Harmony’s mother propelled the case forward. Harmony’s mother, Crystal Renee Sorey, who has ties to the Lowell area, reported the child missing to Manchester, N.H. police in November 2021 after not seeing her daughter since around Easter 2019, after she lost custody due to substance abuse problems.
Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, secured custody of the girl in a Massachusetts court in 2019. He was arrested last week on suspicion of assaulting Harmony, who remains missing.
At a candlelight vigil Saturday evening, Sorey told the Globe that Harmony had been failed by officials in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She also blamed herself.
“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.”
Harmony’s father has a troubled history and isn’t cooperating with police. Adam Montgomery refused to tell Manchester police where Harmony was during an New Year’s Eve interview and also allegedly acknowledged to relatives that he’d physically attacked the child in the past, according to court records.
He was charged last week with 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. He’s currently being held without bail in New Hampshire and hasn’t entered a formal plea. His next hearing is slated for March 4, records show.
“We each emphasized that our primary concern is locating H.M. and establishing that she is safe,” police wrote in an affidavit summarizing the Dec. 31 interview with Adam Montgomery. “Adam stopped answering questions multiple times and stated, ‘I have nothing else to say.’”
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.
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.
Massachusetts officials are monitoring the case. The Massachusetts juvenile court awarded custody of Harmony to Adam Montgomery in February 2019, according to a recent statement from Maria Mossaides, director of the Office of the Child Advocate in Massachusetts.
“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,” Mossaides said in a statement issued last week. “We are hopeful that Harmony will be found soon.”
Investigators have searched a home in Manchester, N.H., where Harmony lived prior to her disappearance. 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.
On Sunday morning, officers could be seen lugging an orange bucket and blue tarp behind the yellow Cape-style home 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. 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.
Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife has also been charged. Kayla Montgomery, the estranged wife of Adam Montgomery and mother to three of his other children, was also arrested last week in New Hampshire on a felony count of welfare fraud for allegedly collecting government assistance benefits meant for Harmony.
Kayla Montgomery stands accused of obtaining more than $1,500 in fraudulent food stamp benefits. Authorities say she failed to remove Harmony from a family account with New Hampshire’s Division of Family Assistance and continued to collect benefits for the girl, even though she was no longer living with Kayla and Adam Montgomery. She was ordered held last week following her initial court appearance on $5,000 bail, records show. It wasn’t immediately clear if she’s posted that amount.
A reward is being offered for information leading to Harmony being found. As of Jan. 7, a $94,000 reward has been offered for information leading to Harmony’s whereabouts, according to a post on Manchester police’s Facebook page.
Officials are requesting the public’s help in locating Harmony, and anyone with information is asked to contact a 24-hour tip line at 603-203-6060, the statement said.
Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.