The stepmother of missing child Harmony Montgomery, facing charges of welfare fraud and receiving stolen property, is out on bail.
Kayla Montgomery, the wife of Harmony's father, Adam Montgomery, had been held on $5,000 bail since January, when she was arraigned on a welfare fraud charge.
Harmony was last seen in 2019, when she was 5 years old. She was not reported missing until two years later.
Kayla Montgomery had been accused of obtaining $1,500 in food stamps between December of 2019 and June of 2021, during which time Harmony was not living with her father and stepmother.
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"It's clear that she doesn't care about Harmony," the missing child's mother, Crystal Sorey, told NBC10 Boston in an exclusive interview Friday. "She doesn't care to let anybody know where Harmony is.
Sorey is convinced Kayla knows something about Harmony's disappearance, and she's not happy that Kayla has been set free.
"It's a joke," said Sorey. "I feel like maybe it's a test, maybe they're releasing her hoping that she'll mess up, maybe she'll slip up, maybe she'll lead them to Harmony, that's what I'm hoping for."
Last month, prosecutors added two charges against Kayla Montgomery for allegedly receiving stolen property in connection to a gun theft that occurred between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3 of 2019. During that time, Adam Montgomery allegedly stole a rifle and a shotgun from another person.
Authorities said there is no evidence of any connection between the stolen firearms and Harmony's disappearance.
Hillsborough County Superior Court said Friday that a day earlier, Kayla Montgomery had appeared in court a day earlier to address her bail, previously set at $5,000 cash or corporate surety. The bail was set to be converted to personal recognizance if she successfully completed a treatment program with the Cynthia Day Family Center in Nashua.
"Subsequent to the issuance of that order, the defendant was informed by the Cynthia
Day program that she would not be admitted to their program," the court wrote in an order Friday. "The defendant is indigent and has been unable to post the monetary bail as set. Therefore, she has remained incarcerated since her arrest in early January."
The bail was converted from cash to $5,000 unsecured appearance bond, the court said. Images showed her leaving custody Friday.
Conditions for Kayla Montgomery's bail include checking in daily, in person, at the Manchester Police Department; continuing to be treated for substance use disorder; having no contact with Adam Montgomery; and being required to stay in New Hampshire.
The disappearance of Harmony Montgomery, and the two years it took to come to light, have sent shockwaves across New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where the Office of the Child Advocate released a report this week concluding that state officials did not consider the girl's well-being before releasing her to the custody of Adam Montgomery.
"The system failed Harmony," Maria Mossaides, the agency's director, said at a press conference Wednesday. "No one focused on Harmony and what she needed. It wasn't one decision, it was a series of decisions that did not place her at the center and therefore made poor decisions about the risk she was going to be facing."
"They handed her over to a stranger with a violent criminal record," Sorey said Friday. "I don't understand how they could have screwed up so badly, but they wouldn't give me a chance."