Ramonita Guzman has spent nearly 14 years grappling with unanswered questions about the night her son Darlin was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Lynn convenience store.
On Wednesday afternoon, she learned investigators have a suspect: A 31-year-old New Hampshire man who is jailed on child abuse charges and eyed in the disappearance of his 7-year-old daughter, Harmony Montgomery.
“We are shocked,” Guzman said Thursday in a telephone interview.
When Guzman called a Lynn police investigator to ask about her son’s unsolved murder case, the officer referred her to a Boston 25 News report linking Adam Montgomery to her son’s killing, she said.
The television station first reported Montgomery as a suspect in the fatal shooting of Guzman in 2008. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation later confirmed the report to the Globe.
On Thursday, Lynn police referred questions about Guzman’s case to the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. A spokeswoman for Blodgett declined to comment.
Montgomery has not been charged with Guzman’s death. His court-appointed lawyers didn’t respond Thursday to an e-mail from the Globe.
Ramonita Guzman, who lives in Florida, knew little of Harmony’s case, which has sparked a massive search and become a national news story. The girl was last seen in 2019.
Guzman called her disappearance tragic, and said she hoped law enforcement prioritized its efforts to find her.
“We’re not going to get Darlin back,” she said.
Darlin Guzman, 28, who lived in Lynn, was shot at about 10:55 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2008, in the parking lot of White Hen Pantry on Austin Square. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead at a hospital in Salem, records show.
A Lynn Police Department news release from the time of the shooting described the gunman as a “light skinned man” about 6 feet tall with a thin build. Mongtomery is white, about 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighs 175 pounds, according to New Hampshire court records.
Ramonita Guzman said her son was joyful and sweet. He had two sons and a daughter, she said, and earned a living repairing computers and working in kitchen design at Home Depot. He also worked as a DJ.
About five years ago, Guzman said, she and her husband moved from Lynn to Florida, where they planted a mango tree in their backyard in honor of their son. The tree now bears fruit, she said.
“Our grandchildren, they have to grow up without a father,” Guzman said.
Guzman’s father, Arcadio, said Thursday that he’s been longing for information about his son’s case.
“I’ve been waiting for over 10 years,” he said.
Montgomery, who has an extensive criminal record, is currently being held without bail in New Hampshire where he faces a charge of felony second-degree assault for allegedly attacking Harmony in 2019.
He is also facing a misdemeanor count of interference with custody and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child pertaining to Harmony. He has not been charged in her disappearance.
A Massachusetts judge granted Montgomery custody of Harmony in February 2019 when she was 4 years old, after her mother, Crystal Sorey, lost custody while struggling with substance abuse.
Sorey set out months ago to find her daughter after several stints in sober homes and has been pressing police and child welfare services for answers.
Authorities in New Hampshire continue to search for Harmony, who was last seen in Manchester, N.H., in late 2019. Montgomery was questioned by police on New Year’s Eve after he was found sleeping in his car. Authorities said Montgomery claimed he had not seen Harmony since November 2019 and he refused to cooperate with police.
His wife, Kayla Montgomery, Harmony’s stepmother, has been charged with welfare fraud for allegedly pocketing state benefit payments meant for the girl.
A reward fund for information about Harmony’s whereabouts has grown to $144,000. Tipsters should call 603-203-6060.