A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted Adam Montgomery on a second-degree murder charge for allegedly killing his 5-year-old daughter, Harmony, in December 2019, authorities said Friday.
Montgomery, 33, had waived arraignment in October on charges of second-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, falsifying evidence, and witness tampering in connection with Harmony’s death in Manchester, N.H. He is being held without bail.
Prosecutors have said that Montgomery repeatedly struck his daughter “in the head with a closed fist” on or around Dec. 7, 2019.
Harmony’s body has not been found.
Adam Montgomery was initially arrested in January 2022 on charges of assaulting Harmony and endangering her welfare in 2019 in Manchester, where she had been living with him, her stepmother, and the couple’s other children.
In May, the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate released a report that documented failures by the state’s child welfare agency and the juvenile court to safeguard Harmony’s well-being and offered a host of recommendations to prevent similar failings.
In February 2019, a Massachusetts juvenile court judge placed Harmony in her father’s care although he had pleaded guilty five years earlier to shooting a man in the head during a drug deal in Haverhill.
The judge, Mark Newman, made his decision over the objection of a lawyer for the state’s Department of Children and Families and without requiring a mandated assessment of his suitability to care for the girl, the report said.
In February, a report found that child welfare workers in New Hampshire repeatedly checked in on Montgomery’s home after Harmony vanished in 2019 but did little to determine her whereabouts or verify her father’s claim that she was living in Massachusetts with her mother, Crystal Sorey, who at the time didn’t have custody.
Harmony was placed in state custody when she was 2 months old because child welfare workers were concerned about Sorey’s struggle with substance use disorder.
Between August 2014 and January 2018, DCF removed Harmony from Sorey’s care three times and placed her in the custody of foster parents, the child advocate’s report said.
Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.