The stepmother of a missing New Hampshire girl, Harmony Montgomery, bailed out of jail last week after her arrest for alleged government fraud and weapons charges.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kayla Montgomery, 31, has been charged with receiving stolen firearms in Manchester, New Hampshire, at some point between September and October 2019. Her former husband, Adam Montgomery, 32, was also charged in April with theft by unauthorized taking for allegedly stealing a rifle and shotgun, along with other charges.
Part of her bail stipulations indicated that Kayla cannot have any contact with Harmony’s father, Adam. She must also continue substance abuse therapy and check in with police daily, Fox 23 reports.
Harmony was officially reported missing in December 2021, although she has not been seen in two years. So far, there’s no evidence that suggests the firearms charges are connected to the child’s disappearance.
The latest charges against Kayla come on the heels of government fraud charges. She was indicted on March 25 with welfare fraud after she allegedly kept receiving government benefits for Harmony, although the child was no longer living with her.
Prosecutors said Montgomery received over $1,500 from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from December 2019 to June 2021. Harmony was reportedly no longer with her stepmother and father during those dates.
“Ms. Montgomery represented to NH DHHS that [Hasrmony] was a member of Ms. Montgomery’s household despite H.M. not being a member of Ms. Montgomery’s household during that time period, resulting in Ms. Montgomery receiving benefits for H.M. in excess of $1,500 for that time period. As a class A felony, this charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 7½–15 years,” a previous news release stated.
During a dispositional conference held at the Northern District courthouse of Hillsborough County Superior Court in April, prosecutors made a plea agreement with Kayla, although details of the agreement weren’t made public, the Boston Herald reports.
Montgomery is scheduled for a status hearing on June 9, when it will be determined whether she will accept the plea agreement. The agreement was made prior to Kayla’s current charges.
“Discovery is, I have to say, for the most part, complete just because of the nature of the ongoing investigation,” Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill said.
Meanwhile, the search for Harmony continues. She hasn’t been seen since 2019, according to police, but was only reported missing in late 2021.
Court documents released earlier this year indicate that police received a call from Harmony’s biological mother, Crystal Sorey, on November 18, 2021, who claimed her daughter was missing. Sorey told police that Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, had physical custody of the girl and she couldn’t get in touch with him.
Sorey added that she lost custody of Harmony in 2018 due to drug issues. Adam Montgomery, according to Sorey, blocked her calls and blocked her from social media, and didn’t allow her to speak to Harmony after Easter 2019.
New Hampshire police reached out to the New Hampshire Department of Children’s Services to locate Adam, but by December 27, 2021, the agency couldn’t find him. Police began searching for Adam Montgomery when they learned that Harmony “had not been physically seen since October/November 2019.”
Police also spoke to Adam’s brother, Michael, who explained that Adam abused Harmony and gave her a black eye. Police then reached out to Adam Montgomery’s cousin, Kevin, who witnessed the alleged incident.
“I bashed her around this house,” Adam Montgomery said, according to Kevin.
Kevin told investigators that Adam was upset at Harmony when her infant brother started crying because he told her to keep an eye on him. In anger, Adam allegedly spanked Harmony, made her scrub a toilet with a toothbrush, and forced her to stand in the corner for hours.
On December 31, 2021, police located Adam Montgomery sleeping in a car in New Hampshire with his current girlfriend. The girlfriend told police that Adam never once talked about Harmony.
When investigators interviewed Kayla Montgomery, she said that she hadn’t spoken to Adam since November 2021 and hadn’t seen Harmony since late 2019.
Adam reportedly told police that Harmony’s mother came to “pick her up in Manchester, NH around Thanksgiving 2019.” Adam claimed he hadn’t seen his daughter since.
Police said Adam Montgomery’s statements were inconsistent and secretive, with the suspect telling them things such as, “I have nothing to say” and, “If I’m not under arrest, I’m leaving.”
He was subsequently arrested and charged with assault for the 2019 incident. Earlier this month, he was charged with 8 firearm-related charges. No one has been charged with Harmony’s disappearance.
One of the last known sightings of Harmony happened in October 2019 at a home off of Gilford Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, after the family spat broke out. Kevin Montgomery said Adam Montgomery left with Harmony and broke off contact with several family members.
Kevin Montgomery said Harmony “looked like a scared puppy” the last time he saw her.
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.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police tipline at 603-203-6060.
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[Feature Photo: Harmony Montgomery/Handout]