Despite a history of drug use and violence, the father of missing New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery was given physical custody, which has now prompted an internal review of the agency.
According to the Boson Globe, Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, wanted custody of his daughter even though he has a history of violence, transience, and drug use. His criminal record includes an armed attack on two female victims that he held up with a gun at a Malden apartment in 2008. He pleaded guilty to armed robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in 2010.
Montgomery also shot a man in the head during a botched drug deal months before Harmony’s birth. The victim survived and Montgomery ended up getting an 18-month sentence after the attack.
His criminal history, however, started years before Harmony’s birth and has continued for 16 years.
In July 2007, Montgomery was charged with simple assault, curfew violation, and burglary, after he followed a girl, took her cellphone, and told another female friend to punch the victim. The burglary charge was dismissed in 2008 after Montgomery took a “no contest” plea.
In September 2007, Montgomery pulled out a knife on his 15-year-old girlfriend. He was charged with criminal threatening and given a year behind bars. He got out early and received probation.
The following year, Montgomery stabbed a teen in the leg before pushing him out of a moving car. He was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and reckless conduct. In 2009, the “criminal threatening sentence was amended and the reckless conduct charge nolle prossed,” Patch reports.
Regardless, the New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth, and Families gave Adam Montgomery custody of Harmony in 2019. The child’s biological mother, Crystal Sorey, lost custody in 2018 due to drug use. Sorey, who alerted police to Harmony’s disappearance, recently said Adam may have taken custody to “spite her.”
“I told DCYF a million times it was not a good idea. I knew something would happen. Nobody listened to me. I told them this man shouldn’t have her. He’s short-tempered with her,” Sorey said, according to Manchester Ink Link.
“He had a short temper with me. He was very controlling, he was controlling with me and I knew with Harmony being his first-born, he had some kind of spite over me. His own blood family said the same thing – ‘Did you even look at his record?’ No. He barely went to visits. He barely tried.”
“He never wanted to do any kind of co-parenting for her, it was always about what he could get out of having her. It was never for her. It was always out of spite.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Sorey, who is now sober, reported Harmony missing in November 2021. She reportedly contacted the Manchester Police Department and sent emails to the mayor and DCYF.
According to Sorey, Montgomery blocked her from social media, blocked her calls, and refused to answer any questions about Harmony. The report prompted an investigation and police learned that the last time Harmony was seen was in late 2019, while reportedly being abused by her father.
Family members claim they witnessed Adam strike Harmony at a Manchester home in 2019 when she couldn’t keep her baby brother from crying. Adam also allegedly made the child clean a toilet with her toothbrush. Harmony’s uncle said he contacted police after the incident, but nothing ever came from it.
Afterward, Montgomery refused to speak with several members of his family and kept them away from Harmony.
Police recorded 29 calls regarding the Manchester home, from 2018 to 2020. Often, the calls were made by neighbors.
DCYF was involved twice in August 2019, and Manchester police filed a formal complaint to the agency the following month citing “clutter and empty food containers in every room.”
The report said, however, that “all three children appeared clean and fed.” The calls to police and DCYF stopped after Montgomery moved from the house.
The Search for Harmony
In December 2021, the New Hampshire police reached out to the New Hampshire DCYF to locate Adam, but by December 27, 2021, the agency couldn’t find him. Police began searching for Montgomery when they learned that Harmony “had not been physically seen since October/November 2019.”
On December 31, police located Adam Montgomery sleeping in a car in New Hampshire with his current girlfriend. The girlfriend told police that Montgomery never once talked about Harmony. Montgomery was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault, interference with custody, and two charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
The charges stem from the 2019 incident in Manchester, in which Adam is accused of punching Harmony and giving her a black eye.
He denied knowing where the child is and told police that Harmony’s mother came to “pick her up in Manchester, NH around Thanksgiving 2019.” Montgomery claimed he hadn’t seen his daughter since. Sorey said the story is completely false and that she hasn’t seen or talked to Harmony since around Easter 2019.
When investigators interviewed Montgomery’s estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, she said that she hadn’t spoken to him since November 2021 and hadn’t seen Harmony since late 2019.
Kayla Montgomery told police that she and Adam were no longer together. She obtained a restraining order on him which expired in 2021.
After they split, Kayla allegedly continued to receive government benefits for Harmony, even though the child didn’t live with her anymore, police. She was subsequently arrested and charged with nine offenses, including felony theft.
Harmony is described as standing around 4 feet tall and weighing 50 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes. She is blind in her right eye and should be wearing glasses. The most recent photographs available were taken when she was 5 years old.
A $114,00 reward for information on Harmony’s whereabouts is being offered. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police tipline at 603-203-6060.
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[Feature Photo: Harmony Montgomery/Facebook]