Harmony Montgomery last seen by officers one month before first thought

Harmony Montgomery last seen by officers one month before first thought
Police chief pleads for information from the public about missing seven-year-old Harmony Montgomery who has not been seen for more than two years

Harmony Montgomery was last seen by police officers one month earlier than investigators initially said, further complicating the timeline of when the missing seven-year-old disappeared.

Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday that officers were called to the home on 77 Gilford Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, for an incident on 11 September 2019.

That was the last time the missing child, who was five at the time, was seen by Manchester police officers.

The police chief previously said officers had responded to the home in October 2019, meaning Harmony has been missing even longer than first thought.

Despite the change in timeline, which the police chief said was simply down to him giving an “inappropriate date”, investigators are still working to the belief that Harmony was last seen in October or November of that year, he said.

“It doesn’t change the overall timeline,” he said, adding that the police officers completed a report that date and sent it to New Hampshire’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF).

A missing person investigation was only opened in December 2021 – more than two years later.

Two weeks on, investigators have revealed few details about what they think happened to Harmony and the little girl has not been found.

Harmony’s father Adam Montgomery, who had custody of his daughter when she was last seen, and his wife Kayla Montgomery were both arrested last week on charges related to the missing child.

In Wednesday’s briefing, Chief Aldenberg pleaded with the public to come forward with any information about her disappearance.

“Somebody out there knows something,” he said.

“And whatever strikes at people’s conscience as a human being to come forward and do the right thing, whatever it takes is what we’re going to be doing.”

Around 300 tips have been received from the public so far and the reward for information about her disappearance has now grown to about $104,000.

The police chief said investigators are still working on the belief that Harmony is still alive and that it would stay that way “until somebody shows me otherwise”.

However, he admitted that he was “a little discouraged” by the case but is “determined” to find Harmony and “bring her home to the people who care for her”.

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding out what happened to Harmony Montgomery

The police chief referred to Mr and Ms Montgomery, who remain in police custody, suggesting that they may have information relevant to Harmony’s disappearance that they have not yet shared.

“If those two people want to talk to the Manchester Police Department… the doors open, the phones open, I don’t care if it’s two in the morning,” he said.

Mr Montgomery was arrested last week and charged with second-degree felony assault, two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one misdemeanor count of interference with custody.

On the assault charge, he is accused of “striking [Harmony] in the face” sometime in July 2019, giving her a black eye, according to the criminal complaint.

Police interviews with other family members revealed Mr Montgomery was allegedly abusive toward his daughter, including giving her a black eye, forcing her to clean the toilet with her own toothbrush and making her stand in a corner for hours as a punishment.

Officials have said Mr Montgomery is not cooperating with the investigation and refused to say where his daughter is in an interview on 31 December.

The day after her husband’s arrest, Ms Montgomery was arrested on one felony charge of welfare fraud for allegedly fraudulently collecting welfare benefits for the missing child between December 2019 and June 2021.

Ms Montgomery, who has three children with her husband, is accused of fraudulently obtaining $1,500 in food stamp benefits meant for Harmony between December 2019 and June 2021 even though the girl was not living with them.

Prosecutors have now dropped that welfare fraud charge and added three new charges – one count of theft by deception and two misdemeanor charges of welfare fraud.

The charges accuse Ms Montgomery of making intentional false statements about her stepdaughter’s whereabouts in February and March 2021 in order to claim benefits.

Harmony’s mother Crystal Sorey told police on 18 November that she believed her daughter was missing, after she made repeated attempts to contact her over the last two years and had raised concerns with DCYF.

When police tracked down Mr Montgomery he said he hadn’t seen Harmony since Thanksgiving 2019 when he claimed Ms Sorey picked her up from Manchester.

Ms Montgomery, meanwhile, gave a different account telling investigators she last saw Harmony the day after Thanksgiving when her husband told her he was driving his daughter to see Ms Sorey.

Questions are now being asked about how the disappearance of a little girl could have slipped through the cracks.

Multiple family members, as well as Ms Sorey, said they raised concerns for Harmony’s safety with DCYF and that the girl’s father had a history of violence.