CONCORD, N.H. - The father of Harmony Montgomery, a New Hampshire girl who vanished in 2019 at age 5 but was not reported missing until late 2021, has been charged with her murder, authorities said.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office on Monday announced the arrest of Adam Montgomery on charges of second-degree murder, falsifying physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with witnesses or informants in connection to her death.
Adam Montgomery, who was arrested earlier on Monday, is accused of beating his daughter to death around Dec. 7, 2019, and concealing her body by March 4, 2020, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said during a news conference.
He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.
Adam Montgomery in an undated booking photo. (Photo: Manchester Police)
"I do want to again express my deepest sympathies to Harmony’s family, friends, and loved ones," Formella said. "We understand that today’s news, while significant for purposes of this investigation, is yet another difficult moment for those who loved Harmony and those who have followed this case."
In August, it was announced that the search for Harmony had shifted to a murder investigation. Authorities concluded that Montgomery was murdered in Manchester in early December 2019.
Police first became aware that Harmony might be missing when they received a call from the girl’s mother, Crystal Sorey, in November 2021. She had been unsuccessfully trying to locate the girl for months, police said.
Police said they contacted Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, and other family members by the end of December 2021. According to court documents, police told Adam that Harmony had not been seen in more than two years and there was concern over whether she was still alive.
Harmony’s father and stepmother, who have since pleaded not guilty to charges related to her well-being, told police that Adam brought Harmony to be with her mother in Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019. But her mother said she last saw Harmony during a phone video conversation around Easter 2019.
In June, investigators searched an apartment building in the city of Manchester, where Montgomery’s father and stepmother once lived. They removed a refrigerator and other items, but additional details were not released.
A refrigerator was taken out of an apartment on Union Street, was wrapped up, and then placed on a truck in Manchester, NH on June 14, 2022. 644 Union Street has been a focus of the investigation of the death of 5-year-old Harmony Montgomery, as it i
Authorities previously created a tip line for people to share any information regarding her death at 603-203-6060.
"I ask in the memory of Harmony we all try and do something nice for a child today," Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said Monday.
Harmony Montgomery: Case timeline and related arrests
Harmony Montgomery, who is believed to have been murdered in early December 2019, was not reported missing until late 2021, according to police.
Montgomery's father, 31-year-old Adam Montgomery, reportedly had sole custody of the girl since February 2019. Adam Montgomery was indicted in March on an assault charge alleging that he struck Harmony in the face in July 2019. He pleaded not guilty and has been in jail since January.
Her stepmother, 32-year-old Kayla Montgomery, has also been arrested on perjury charges that accuse her of lying to a grand jury about when and where she was at work during the window of time that Harmony Montgomery was last seen. Earlier this year, Kayla Montgomery was also charged with theft by deception after police said she falsely claimed that Harmony Montgomery was living with her in order to collect welfare benefits. She pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
Kayla Montgomery is pictured in an undated booking photo. (Photo: Manchester Police Department) (Manchester Police Department)
Authorities in New Hampshire said they first became aware of the case when they received a call from Sorey, the girl’s biological mother who lives in Massachusetts, in November 2021. Sorey said she had been trying to locate her daughter for months but had been blocked by her ex-husband from contacting the girl.
Sorey had to surrender Harmony to the state in the summer of 2018. After that, Adam Montgomery secured sole custody in February 2019 and moved her to New Hampshire, FOX News reported.
Authorities determined Harmony was last seen by police at a home in Manchester in October 2019. Police responded to a service call there and had no reason to return to the address afterward.
Sorey originally told officers in November 2021 that she hadn’t seen her daughter in over six months. She then clarified that it had actually been since Easter 2019, when she video-chatted with the father and Harmony, according to a police affidavit.
A home on Gilford Street in Manchester, NH, pictured on Jan. 4, 2022. Police had searched this home for missing Harmony Montgomery, where she was previously seen with her father, Adam Montgomery. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Ima
In December 2021, police made contact with Adam Montgomery and other family members to speak about Harmony. An affidavit said police told the father that Harmony "had not been physically observed in over two years and that we had concern for whether or not she was still alive."
In early January 2022, both Adam Montgomery and Kayla Montgomery were arrested, separately, on charges related to her well-being.
Adam was arrested on Jan. 4, on charges that included second-degree assault stemming from conduct against Harmony in 2019, as well as charges of interfering with custody and child endangerment. Police accused him of "purposely violating a duty of care, protection or support" by failing to know where she has been since late 2019 — the last reported sighting of Harmony.
FOX News reported that the 2019 conduct against Harmony involved Adam Montgomery allegedly punching his daughter, who was visually impaired and blind in one eye, in the face, leaving her with a black eye.
In a December 2021 interview with police, Harmony's great-uncle told officers he saw her with a black eye in July 2019. He said Harmony told him Adam hit her after he had seen Harmony holding her hand over her younger brother’s mouth to stop him from crying, according to the police documents.
Harmony's great-uncle said he notified the state's child protective services.
"I know that over the past eight months, there have been many discussions, speculation, and questions relative to where the system failed Harmony, and I myself continue to share the same concerns and still have many remaining questions," Aldenberg said in August.
"However, the homicide of this little girl rests with the person or persons who committed this horrific act," he added.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. Megan Ziegler and the Associated Press contributed.