Police in Manchester, New Hampshire, announced Friday that they are seeking the public's help in locating a missing 7-year-old girl who was last seen two years ago.
Manchester police said they received a report last week that Harmony Montgomery had not been seen since late 2019.
"The circumstances surrounding this prolonged absence are very concerning and are being thoroughly investigated," the department said in a statement.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Manchester police at (603) 668-8711 or lead investigator Detective Jack Dunleavy at (603) 792-5561. Anonymous tips can also be called in to the Manchester crimeline (603) 624-4040.
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Who is Harmony Montgomery?
Harmony is a 7-year-old girl described as 4 feet tall, weighing about 50 pounds, with blond hair, blue eyes and glasses. Manchester police are asking for the public's help in finding her.
"At this time I have dedicated all available resources and personnel to locating Harmony. I encourage anyone to contact the Manchester Police Department with any relevant information which will help us in locating Harmony,” Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said Friday.
How long has Harmony Montgomery been missing?
Manchester police said they received a report last week that she hadn’t been seen since late 2019.
Court documents say it was Harmony's mother who first notified police that her daughter was missing in November. Last week, the state's Division for Children, Youth and Families contacted police saying they couldn't find her either.
The last time Harmony was seen was during a Manchester police call for service in October of 2019 at a home in the city. They said they had no reason to return to the address after that.
"That's the last time she has been seen here in the City of Manchester. I'm not saying she hasn't been seen somewhere else. I'm just focusing on the last time she was seen in the City of Manchester," Aldenberg said.
Police said they have been investigating "nonstop" since becoming aware that Harmony was missing, working in conjunction with DCYF and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
"For us to have a two year delay, that is extremely concerning," Aldenberg said. "That's not something that happens to us on a regular basis. It doesn't happen every day."
Where are Harmony Montgomery's parents?
Harmony's father, Adam Montgomery, 31, of Manchester, was arrested Tuesday on several charges, including one accusing him of failing to have her in his custody, according to court documents released this week. He is also charged with second-degree assault 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. He had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf by his lawyer on Wednesday and is being held without bail.
Police said Adam Montgomery had legal custody of Harmony. The girl's mother told police she had lost custody of Harmony to the state in 2018, in part to a substance abuse issue.
Harmony's mother, who lives in Massachusetts, had called Manchester police in November to say she hadn't seen her daughter in a while. She originally told officers she hadn't seen her in over six months, but then said it had been since Easter 2019 when she video chatted with the father and Harmony, according to a police affidavit.
Adam Montgomery’s wife, Kayla Montgomery, who said she shares three younger children with Montgomery, told police she had last seen Harmony in November or December of 2019. She said Montgomery was driving the child to see her mother. She said she didn’t see Harmony after that.
Kayla Montgomery was charged Wednesday with welfare fraud stemming from food stamp benefits she claimed on behalf of Harmony even though the child was no longer living with them.
By the end of last year, police said they had made contact with Adam Montgomery and other family members. Montgomery was found sleeping in a vehicle with a girlfriend in Manchester. He said initially that Harmony was fine and he had seen her recently, but then later said he hadn’t seen her since her mother picked her up in Manchester around Thanksgiving 2019.
Police told Montgomery they were concerned his daughter “had not been physically observed in over two years and that we had concern for whether or not she was still alive,” the affidavit said. “Adam did not exhibit much emotion or reaction to this,” adding he believed she was with her mother. He eventually stopped answering questions.
Disturbing allegations of abuse
In an interview with police, Harmony’s great uncle told officers he saw her with a black eye in July 2019. He said Montgomery told him he hit her after he had seen his daughter holding her hand over her younger brother’s mouth to stop him from crying, according to the police documents.
"I walked in the house, and Harmony had a black eye, like you see in a boxing match between two men," Kevin Montgomery said.
He was visiting the Manchester home and asked about the injury.
"He bashed her around the apartment, were his exact words," said Kevin Montgomery. "I might have it off a little bit, but that's pretty much what he said."
He also told investigators, according to court documents, that he observed other forms of abusive discipline, including Harmony being forced to stand in the corner for hours and told to scrub the toilet with her toothbrush.
Kevin Montgomery said family members made multiple reports to DCYF.
"I don't know how they missed it," he told NBC10 Boston.
Why hasn't an Amber Alert been issued?
Police said no Amber Alert has been issued because investigators have not met the threshhold for issuing one, given that there is no specific information about who Harmony might be with or a vehicle she might be in.
"We're not searching for any adult. We're not searching for anybody other than Harmony," Aldenberg said.
Is a reward being offered?
A reward is being offered in connection with the case. The total offer was increased Thursday to $60,000, Manchester police said.
Several New Hampshire businessmen, a businessman from Nevada, and the U.S. Marshals Service helped put up the money for the reward.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.