The search for missing 5-year-old Harmony Montgomery is now a homicide investigation, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said at a press conference Thursday.
“Agencies working together have devoted thousands of hours gathering evidence and pursuing numerous leads,” said Formella. “All of these efforts have led us to conclude that Harmony Montgomery was murdered in Manchester in early December of 2019.”
Harmony was not declared missing until fall 2021, when her biological mother alerted authorities.
At the time of her disappearance in 2019 Harmony was living with her father, stepmother Kayla Montgomery and their two other children.
Formella said though no remains have been found, police have collected biological evidence suggesting Harmony was murdered. In June, officers collected a refrigerator and other items from the Montgomery’s previous residence on Union Street in Manchester.
Police said obtaining justice for the child and bringing her remains home remain the “number one priority.”
The case has raised concern about the Massachusetts social services and legal systems’ role in placing Harmony in a dangerous situation and failing track and ensure her well-being.
In February 2019, authorities granted custody of the Harmony to her biological father despite his violent criminal history, which included convictions for shooting someone in the head and an armed attack on two women in Massachusetts, according to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Her mother previously lost custody for reasons related to substance abuse.
“I know that over the past eight months that there have been many discussions, speculation and questions relative to where the system failed Harmony,” said Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg. “And I myself continue to share the same concerns and still have many remaining questions. However, the homicide of this little girl rests with the person or persons who committed this horrific act.”
Adam Montgomery faces several charges, including assault for allegedly giving Harmony a black eye in 2019. Her stepmother faces charges, including fraud for continuing to collect welfare for Harmony after her disappearance. Adam Montgomery remains in custody while Kayla Montgomery has been released on bond.
Police are offering $150,000 for relevant information and have set up a 24-hour tip line, 603-203-6060.
“I maintain the stance that there are people out there in the community that have information about this investigation who have yet to come forward,” said Aldenberg. “If you are that person, I implore you, come forward. … This child deserves to be brought home.”