Police have been searching for Harmony Montgomery, who was 5 when she disappeared, since late last year when her mother said the girl was believed to be in the care of Harmony’s father. The search has now led officials to conclude that the girl was “murdered” in Manchester, NH, in early December 2019, although her remains have not been found, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said ( R).
“At this point, although Harmony’s remains have yet to be located, we have multiple sources of investigative information, including recently confirmed biological evidence, which has led us to this difficult and tragic conclusion. “, he added. he told reporters.
Officials did not provide any further details, including whether they identified a suspect or person of interest, and did not respond to questions about what they said was now a homicide investigation. No one has been charged in Harmony’s disappearance.
The case raised questions about the child welfare system in Massachusetts, where Harmony lived before a judge transferred her to the custody of her father, a New Hampshire resident with a violent criminal history. An investigative report released by Massachusetts officials in May concluded that all state entities involved in Harmony’s care failed to prioritize her safety.
“I know that over the last eight months there has been a lot of discussion, speculation and questions about where the Harmony system has failed,” Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said during the interview. Thursday’s press conference. “And I myself continue to share the same concerns and I still have many unanswered questions. However, the homicide of this little girl rests with the person or persons who committed this horrific act.
She disappeared two years before the police found out. His father is now charged with assault.
Blair Miller, the adoptive father of Harmony’s brother, said his family will always wonder why the decision was made to reunite Harmony with her father and not require visitation with her brother, Jamison.
“If these visitations had been in place and the sibling relationship had been protected as required by law, we would likely be sharing a much different story and outcome,” Miller said. said in a press release.
After authorities realized in December that Harmony was missing, New Hampshire prosecutors charged Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, with second-degree assault on two counts of endangering property. being of a child and interference with custody. A relative reportedly saw Harmony with a black eye and told police that Montgomery admitted to punching her in the face.
“I hit her in that house,” Montgomery told her uncle, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held in jail.
The last time anyone reported seeing Harmony was in October 2019, when Manchester Police spotted her responding to a call for duty. Officials later said they believe Harmony disappeared between November 28 and December 10 of that year.
Child welfare system ‘failed’ missing 7 years, state says
Harmony’s short life was tumultuous, as she was sent from place to place in search of a safe home. She was in foster care in Massachusetts after her mother, Crystal Sorey, struggled with drug addiction and lost custody in 2018.
A judge sent her to live in New Hampshire with her father in February 2019, without requiring a house visit from authorities. The judge determined that Montgomery was fit to become a parent and that the Interstate Child Care Covenant, which governs the placement of children across state lines, did not apply.
While searching for Harmony in January, police found Adam Montgomery asleep in a car in Manchester. He allegedly contradicted himself in conversation and said he both saw his daughter recently and hadn’t seen her since Sorey picked her up around Thanksgiving 2019.
Eventually, police wrote in court records, Montgomery told officers he had “nothing more to say.”