REVERE — A large contingent of police from two states scoured wetlands Friday along Route 107 as part of the investigation into the death of 5-year-old Harmony Montgomery, who was last seen nearly four years ago.
Police canvassed the area with search dogs, and at least one was seen carrying a shovel. Officials said at about 4 p.m. Friday that the search had concluded, but no further information was provided.
The girl was last seen in Manchester, N.H., in 2019 and authorities in that state allege her father, Adam Montgomery, murdered her, according to officials and court records.
Crystal Sorey, Harmony’s mother, did not immediately respond Friday to messages from the Globe.
The child’s body has never been found, and Adam Montgomery is currently jailed in New Hampshire, where he has pleaded not guilty to killing his child. Prosecutors allege Montgomery repeatedly struck his daughter “in the head with a closed fist” on or around Dec. 7, 2019 in Manchester, N.H.
State Police and Manchester, N.H., police began searching along Route 107 around 9 a.m. Friday “prompted by information developed by investigators,” David Procopio, State Police spokesperson, said in a statement. After spending time canvassing the marsh along Route 107 northbound, investigators just before 12:30 p.m. headed across the highway, and searched an area along the southbound side.
By mid-afternoon, however, the majority of police officers had left the search area, near the Saugus line.
At its peak, the search included 18 troopers from the Special Emergency Response Team, four K9s and their handlers, a drone, and detectives assigned to Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden’s office, Procopio wrote.
In a brief statement, New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella’s office, which is leading the ongoing search for the child and the prosecution of Adam Montgomery, announced the activity in Revere.
“Due to the ongoing investigation, no additional information will be released at this time,” Formella’s office said in the statement. “Officials caution against any speculation related to the potential results of this search.”
Adam Montgomery, who was indicted on the murder charge in January, and his family have long ties to Revere. As a child, he lived in a two-family home at 12 Thornton St., where he was cared for by his paternal grandparents, according to court records.
His father, Michael Montgomery, was separated from Montgomery and his younger brother for years at a time. In 1995, when Adam Montgomery was 5, his father was prosecuted for robbing a McDonald’s restaurant in Revere while wielding a toy gun and wearing a mask. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six to nine years in prison, according to Suffolk Superior Court records.
In 1997, Adam Montgomery’s paternal grandfather died, and about five years later, his paternal grandmother left Revere for New Hampshire, where she purchased a three-bedroom home in Bedford.
Kayla L. Montgomery, Adam’s wife and the missing child’s stepmother, agreed to cooperate with New Hampshire law enforcement last year, according to court records.
“During her June 3 interview, Kayla reported to police that Harmony had been murdered in December 2019 by the defendant [Adam Montgomery],” prosecutors wrote in court papers last fall. “Kayla also said that the defendant had encouraged her on multiple occasions to lie to police about Harmony’s whereabouts, basically giving Kayla a ‘cover story’ and telling her that as long as she stuck to the cover story everything would be OK.”
Kayla Montgomery is currently incarcerated in the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women with a release date of 2029 after pleading guilty to perjury charges, according to state records.
Sorey, Harmony Montgomery’s mother, struggled with personal issues, and the child was first placed into the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in 2014 when she was two months old, officials have said.
The child remained in DCF custody until 2019 when a Massachusetts juvenile court judge awarded custody to Adam Montgomery despite his violent criminal history, which included shooting a man in the head, and a lack of contact with the child in prior years, according to the Office of the Child Advocate and previous reporting by the Globe.
Adam Montgomery was subsequently investigated by the New Hampshire child protection agency in July 2019 after Harmony Montgomery was reported to have had a black eye. Adam Montgomery was not charged. In 2020, he told the New Hampshire child protection agency Harmony Montgomery was living with her biological mother, Sorey, in Massachusetts.
Sorey searched on her own for her child beginning in 2019, but did not get a response from government authorities until she contacted Manchester, N.H., police in 2021. She told them that she last saw her daughter on a FaceTime call in April 2019. The New Hampshire child protection agency also started looking for the child that year, according to an investigative report by the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate.
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