The father and stepmother of missing Harmony Montgomery, 5, have been formally charged by a grand jury in Hillsborough County, Wisconsin.
According to Attorney General John M. Formella and Manchester Police Chief Allen D. Aldenberg, Adam Montgomery, 30, and Kayla Montgomery, 31, have both been formally charged on charges brought in January.
A formal indictment means a grand jury has ruled there are sufficient probable grounds for prosecutors to pursue the case.
Harmony‘s father, Adam, is facing second-degree felony assault, interference with custody and two charges of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from a 2019 incident in which he is accused of punching Harmony and giving her a black eye.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kayla Montgomery has been charged with welfare fraud after she allegedly continued to receive benefits for 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery.
She would have received more than $1,500 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from December 2019 to June 2021. Police said Harmony was no longer living with her mother-in-law on those dates.
“Ms. Montgomery represented to NH DHHS that [Hasrmony] was a member of Mrs. Montgomery’s household although HM was not a member of Mrs. Montgomery’s household during this period, resulting in Mrs. Montgomery receiving benefits for HM in excess of $1,500 for this period. As a Class A felony, this charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 7½ to 15 years,” Formella’s press release said.
Kayla is scheduled for her next court appearance on April 7 at the Northern District of Hillsborough Superior Court in Manchester. Adam’s next court date is scheduled at the same courthouse on June 28.
Both suspects remain behind bars at the Hillsborough County Reformatory.
Where is Harmony?
Meanwhile, the search for Harmony continues. She has not been seen since 2019, according to police, but was not reported missing until late 2021.
Court documents released earlier this year say police received a call from Harmony’s birth mother, Crystal Sorey, on November 18, 2021, who claimed her daughter was missing. Sorey told police Harmony’s father had physical custody of the girl and she could not contact him.
Sorey added that she lost custody of Harmony in 2018 due to drug issues. Adam, according to Sorey, blocked her calls and blocked her on social media, and wouldn’t allow her to speak to Harmony after Easter 2019.
New Hampshire Police contacted the New Hampshire Department of Children’s Services to locate Adam, but on December 27, 2021, the agency was unable to find him. Police began searching for Montgomery when they learned that Harmony “had not been physically seen since October/November 2019.”
Police also spoke to Adam Montgomery’s brother, Michael, who explained that Montgomery abused Harmony and gave him a black eye. Police then contacted Montgomery’s cousin Kevin, who witnessed the alleged incident.
“I hit her in that house,” Montgomery said, according to Kevin.
Kevin told investigators that Montgomery was upset with Harmony when her little brother started crying because he told her to keep an eye on him. Angry, Montgomery allegedly spanked Harmony, made her scrub the toilet with a toothbrush, and forced her to stand in a 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 Montgomery never spoke about Harmony.
When investigators interviewed Kayla Montgomery, she said she hadn’t spoken to Adam since November 2021 and hadn’t seen Harmony since late 2019.
Montgomery reportedly told police that Harmony’s mother “picked her up in Manchester, NH around Thanksgiving 2019.” Montgomery claimed he has not 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”.
“Somewhere out there that little girl needs help, and that’s our job, and I need your help to help us find her safely, so the next time we meet, we’ll maybe we’ll get some good news,” Aldenberg said.
One of the last known sightings
One of Harmony’s last known sightings occurred in October 2019 at a home on Gilford Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, after a family dispute erupted. The girl’s uncle, Kevin Montgomery, said Adam Montgomery then left with Harmony and broke contact with several family members.
Kevin Montgomery said Harmony “looked like a scared puppy” the last time he saw her.
Harmony is described as being about 4 feet tall and weighing 50 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. She is blind in her right eye and should wear glasses. The most recent photographs available were taken when she was 5 years old.
A $94.00 reward for information on Harmony’s whereabouts is offered. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police hotline at 603-203-6060.
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[Feature Photo: Handout]