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The investigation into the disappearance of New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery has shifted from a missing persons case into a homicide investigation.
New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella announced during a Thursday press conference that, after months of investigation, officials now believe the child was murdered in late 2019, Boston.com reports.
“All of these efforts have led us to conclude that Harmony Montgomery was murdered in Manchester in early December of 2019,” Formella said. “At this point, while Harmony’s remains have not yet been located, we do have multiple sources of investigative information — including just recently confirmed biological evidence — that have led us to this difficult and tragic conclusion.”
“We understand that this is truly devastating news for Harmony’s family, friends, and loved ones,” he added. “And our hearts go out to them. This is also devastating news for the City of Manchester, for our state, and all who have followed this story. Our work now turns to getting justice for Harmony and all those who loved her.”
Montgomery was just 5 and living with her father, Adam Montgomery, and stepmother, Kayla Montgomery when she vanished. Adam Montgomery had been given custody of the girl while her mother, Crystal Sorey, was in drug treatment in 2018, after which he allegedly cut the child off from Sorey.
Though Harmony Montgomery hasn't been seen since late 2019, she was not reported missing until late last year when Sorey filed the missing persons report.
A Hillsborough County grand jury indicted both Adam Montgomery and Kayla Montgomery in 2021 in connection with Harmony Montgomery's care, but not with her disappearance.
Adam Montgomery was indicted on a felony charge of second-degree assault — for allegedly striking his daughter in the face in July 2019 — and on two charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Kayla Montgomery, who is now estranged from Adam, was cited on a felony charge of theft by deception for allegedly lying to the Health Department about the child being in her home from November 2019 to June 2, 2021, so that she could receive food stamp benefits.
Kayla Montgomery has also been charged with two felony counts of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury about the circumstances surrounding her employment around the time that her stepdaughter was last seen. Meanwhile, Adam Montgomery has also been hit with gun charges for an alleged incident that has no apparent connection to the case.
Adam and Kayla Montgomery have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges and both have claimed that Harmony was living with her mother, Sorey, when she vanished. Sorey has denied that.
In June, investigators searched the Manchester home where Adam, Kayla and Harmony Montgomery all lived before her disappearance. During the search, FBI agents were reportedly spotted carrying interior surfaces and removing a refrigerator from the location, WCVB reported. It's unclear if any of that is the source of the "recently confirmed biological evidence" mentioned by Formella
Investigators vowed to search for the child’s remains and to find those responsible for her slaying.
“As I stated from the beginning of the investigation and throughout, every effort has been made to bring Harmony back home to her family," choking back tears, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg stated at the press conference. "Our commitment to bring Harmony home has not wavered nor will it.”
He made it clear that he feels there are yet other people with valuable information who haven't come forward.
“If you are that person — pay attention to me carefully — if you are that person I implore you to do so now and come forward,” Aldenberg said. “I’m not asking you to do it for me, for the people in this room, or the people who have been working this investigation.”
He then gestured to the screen beside him, filled with photos of a smiling Harmony Montgomery.
“Do it for this little girl. … The time is now,” he said. “Time to step up and do the right thing. Make the call to that tip line or contact the Manchester Police Department any way you see fit. Harmony is a sweet and innocent child who deserves to be brought home to her family and friends.”
He urged anyone with information to contact the 24-hour tip line opened for Harmony’s case at 603-203-6060.
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