Investigators believe long-missing New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery was killed and are treating her death as a homicide, authorities said Thursday.
The update came after months of investigation, which "led us to conclude that Harmony Montgomery was murdered in Manchester in early December of 2019," New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said.
He added, "While Harmony's remains have not yet been located, we do have multiple sources of investigative information, including just-recently confirmed biological evidence, that have led us to this difficult and tragic conclusion."
The investigation into Harmony's disappearance and killing continue, Formella and Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said. They didn't reveal more specifics into what they, along with the FBI and U.S. Marshal's Service, have uncovered.
"Our work now turns to getting justice for Harmony, and all those who loved her," Formella said.
"Such a sweet little girl," Harmony's mother, Crystal Sorey, told NBC10 Boston. "No child deserves this. She was so innocent."
Aldenberg, visibly emotional, said he was "beyond saddened" to be making the announcement, and added that bringing the girl home would continue to be his department's top priority.
"Every effort has been made to bring Harmony home to her family. Our commitment to bringing Harmony home has not wavered, nor will it," Aldenberg said.
Investigators continue to seek tips that could lead them to finding Harmony, and they asked anyone with such information to call the dedicated tip line, 603-203-6060.
Harmony went missing some time between Nov. 28 and Dec. 10, 2019, when she was 5, investigators believe. But her disappearance only came to light in December 2021. Since then, the case has captured the attention of many across the New England region.
Shortly after Thursday's announcement, Gov. Chris Sununu thanked law enforcement for the work so far in the investigation and the work to come.
"Our greatest fears were confirmed today and now our efforts shift to ensuring justice for Harmony," he said in a statement, adding later that Harmony "will not be soon be forgotten by her fellow Granite Staters."
Harmony was last known to be living with her father in Manchester. Her father, Adam Montgomery, is facing numerous charges including failing to have Harmony in his custody. He has not been charged in her disappearance. Her stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, was also arrested.
In June, authorities went through an apartment, removing a number of items including a refrigerator. And in January, law enforcement searched a home on Guilford Street.
"I'm devastated," said Regina Carr, who helped lead searches in the community.
The case has prompted complete strangers to get involved. They were hoping the latest developments will help bring justice for Harmony.
"It's pins and needles," Annie Vega said, who owns the home where Harmony once lived, ahead of the announcement. "I feel almost part of the family. I feel invested."