Investigators released new details Monday about the search for missing 7-year-old New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery.
The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said the investigation to date has narrowed the window of Harmony's disappearance to a period of under two weeks in 2019. Investigators had said previously that she was last seen in October of that year during a Manchester police call for service at her home.
"The last time she was seen was sometime between Nov. 29 of 2019 and Dec. 10 of 2019," said Assistant Attorney General Jesse O'Neill.
The district attorney's office said police have since learned that Harmony's father, Adam Montgomery, and her stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, were living together with Harmony and two common children at 77 Gilford St. when they were evicted on Nov. 27, 2019.
Multiple people reported seeing Harmony with Adam and Kayla in the following days, but between Dec. 6 and Dec. 10 they had only their two common children with them and not Harmony.
"She knows what we are going to learn as the investigation continues," O'Neill said of Kayla Montgomery during her bail hearing Monday.
For this reason, investigators said they believe Harmony disappeared sometime between Nov. 28 and Dec. 10 of that year.
"Witnesses have reported that during that time, Adam, Kayla, and the children were homeless and living out of cars, possibly in the North End of Manchester," the attorney general's office said in a press release.
One of the cars was a silver 2010 Chrysler Sebring, and the other a dark blue 2006 Audi S4. Investigators released stock photos of the cars on Monday, but said the actual condition of the cars in 2019 was worse than in the pictures, and the Sebring's rear license plate was askew.
"Maybe that jogs somebody's memory, in terms of seeing them in that vehicle or seeing that vehicle somewhere in the city, or somewhere elsewhere," said Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg.
Adam Montgomery, 31, was charged with counts including failing to have Harmony in his custody. Kayla Montgomery, 31, was charged with welfare fraud on suspicion of obtaining $1,500 in food stamps from December 2019 to June 2021 for Harmony at a time when the girl was not living with Kayla and Adam. The two have pleaded not guilty.
In court Monday during an appearance for Kayla Montgomery, O'Neill told a judge "there's no evidence" that Harmony Montgomery was with her mother after Thanksgiving 2019 — or long before that.
He said that Harmony’s mother has been “extremely cooperative” in the investigation. She first reported her daughter was missing last November, and that she had last seen her during a FaceTime conversation in Easter 2019.
Kayla Montgomery pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges that she lied last year that Harmony was in her household to claim food stamp benefits.
O’Neill asked Monday that Kayla Montgomery’s $5,000 cash bail continue, saying she was a flight risk and that “she knows what law enforcement is closing in on.” The judge ordered that bail will remain at $5,000 cash or surety, but said it will convert to personal recognizance if she enters and completes a treatment program.
Kayla Montgomery, now estranged from Adam Montgomery, told police on New Year’s Eve that she believed Harmony had been returned to her mother back in 2019 after that Thanksgiving and never saw or heard about her again.
“Whatever is suggested to or alluded to by the state is not before the court. It is not an allegation facing Ms. Montgomery,” said her lawyer, Paul Garrity.
In an interview last week, Harmony's uncle, Tim Flanagan Jr., told NBC10 Boston Adam Montgomery never should have been given custody of his daughter.
"Massachusetts dropped the ball with handing the baby over to a career criminal," said Flanagan. "To see one state blaming another state, it’s kind of sad."
He was referring to a decision made in 2019 by a judge in Lawrence to give legal custody of Harmony to her father, who was living in Manchester at the time. That move had put Massachusetts and New Hampshire at odds with each other, with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu criticizing the Massachusetts court system in a scathing letter.
Court records pertaining to juvenile cases are confidential so it’s unknown what went into the judge’s decision. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate have said they are investigating.
Police have already received hundreds of tips in the case and the reward fund has grown to almost $150,000.
Anyone with information about Harmony's whereabouts now or during the time period she is believed to have gone missing between Nov. 28 and Dec. 10, 2019, or who saw either of the vehicles in question is asked to call or text the 24-hour tip line dedicated to the investigation at (603) 203-6060.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.