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Father Of New Hampshire Missing Child Harmony Montgomery Indicted On Murder Charges
A grand jury handed down murder charges for Adam Montgomery, who is accused of beating his daughter to death by punching her in the head. The child's body has yet to be found.
The father of missing 5-year-old Harmony Montgomery has been formally indicted for the child’s murder.
Adam Montgomery, 33, was indicted Friday by a grand jury in New Hampshire on charges of second-degree murder for the presumed homicide of his missing daughter, according to ABC Manchester affiliate WMUR-TV. Investigators allege Montgomery beat Harmony to death in December 2019, though the child’s disappearance wasn’t reported for about two years, making it difficult for authorities to find a body.
According to court records obtained by multiple outlets, including CNN, Montgomery is accused of “repeatedly striking Harmony Montgomery on the head with a closed fist,” causing the child’s death on Dec. 7, 2019.
The accusations match previous allegations made by Montgomery’s now-estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, as outlined by court records when Montgomery was initially charged in October.
The biological father is also charged with falsifying physical evidence for concealing the child's body sometime between Dec. 7, 2019, and March 2020, as well as witness tampering for allegedly trying to have Kayla lie to police about the child’s whereabouts.
Kayla, for her part, remains in custody on charges of theft by deception for allegedly lying about the child’s whereabouts to fraudulently collect welfare benefits. She has pleaded not guilty in the case, according to Fox Boston affiliate WFXT.
Harmony’s biological mother, Crystal Sorey, sounded the alarm when filing a missing persons report in November 2021. Sorey told authorities she’d had no contact with her daughter since having a FaceTime call around Easter time 2019, while the child was in her father’s legal custody.
Sorey lost physical custody of the child in 2018 following struggles with substance abuse, though Sorey said she has since maintained sobriety and spent two years trying to make contact with Harmony.
Harmony’s last confirmed sighting by “multiple” witnesses was around late November to early December 2019, according to investigators with the Manchester Police Department and the New Hampshire Attorney General.
Following the child’s disappearance, Montgomery allegedly told investigators Harmony was with Sorey in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Globe.
WMUR-TV reporters spoke with the biological mother following Friday’s indictment.
“Obviously, I knew it was going to happen,” said Sorey. “But when it does, it’s a totally different feeling than you’d expect.”
Montgomery was arrested in January of 2022 — weeks after the missing persons report — and initially charged with second-degree assault stemming from a 2019 incident with the child. However, it’s unclear if the specific incident is the same in which the child presumably died.
He was also charged with interference with custody and endangering the welfare of a child, remaining behind bars when formally charged with the child’s murder.
Investigators — citing a two-year delay between when Harmony disappeared and when they received the missing persons report — hit the ground running. There have been multiple searches for the child since, including one in June at Montgomery and Kayla’s former Manchester home, to no apparent avail.
Witnesses reported seeing FBI agents removing a refrigerator from the apartment, though subsequent findings were not made public.
“It’s relief,” Sorey said of the recent indictment. “It’s, you know, anger, that he still hasn’t said where she is.”
Sorey added Harmony “belongs home,” according to WMUR.
“Even if it’s the bare minimum of what I get, I just want her back,” Sorey continued. “I just want her back home.”
The defendant has a lengthy rap sheet, including a conviction for fatally shooting a man in the face in 2014 in a heroin deal gone bad. Relatives also allegedly tried reporting to authorities that Montgomery regularly abused the child, allegedly forcing her to clean a toilet with a toothbrush and stand in the corner for hours at a time.
Montgomery was also accused of using corporal punishment, resulting in the child sustaining a black eye.
Harmony’s disappearance placed the state of Massachusetts under fierce scrutiny, with many asking why the child was permitted into her father’s care. A Massachusetts court had decided to give custody of the girl to her father despite his violent past.
In May, the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate released findings documenting the failures of child welfare services and the courts with suggestions on how to better secure children’s placement moving forward, according to the Boston Globe.
More details of Montgomery’s indictment are expected to be revealed at arraignment, WFXT reports. According to CNN, the murder trial is slated to begin in August.