The family of missing Harmony Montgomery has been warned by investigators that the chances of the little girl’s survival are slim, after officers from state and federal agencies searched a home linked to her allegedly abusive father Tuesday.
Authorities were seen removing evidence, including a refrigerator, from the Manchester, New Hampshire, apartment, where Harmony had lived with her father, Adam Montgomery, and stepmom, Kayla Montgomery, before her disappearance.
After the search, Johnathon Miller, the adoptive father of Harmony’s younger brother, Jamison, told reporters cops had told them the outcome of the search would likely not be a good one.
‘We have been told by officials that this probably will not have a good outcome or not the outcome we had hoped for, for Jamison and Harmony to be reunited together,’ Miller told Fox News Tuesday shortly after officers left the scene.
‘We have always held onto hope that Jamison and Harmony could be together again, but today that hope feels like it’s being ripped away from us, especially Jamison,’ an emotional Miller told the outlet.
Harmony vanished sometime in late November or early December of 2019, but cops were only made aware of her disappearance last fall. A months-long investigation, spearheaded by the FBI, has since ensued.
It’s the second time investigators have searched the property this year – likely due to the fact it’s linked to Montgomery, an abusive father who, while not charged, has emerged as one of the key persons of interest in the case.
The family of missing Harmony Montgomery has been warned by investigators that the chances of the little girl’s survival is slim, after officers descended on a home linked to her father Tuesday
Local authorities first descended on the area Monday night, closing it off before federal investigators’ arrival early Tuesday. Authorities have not disclosed what they were looking for nor what led them to the home
Authorities were seen removing evidence from the Manchester, New Hampshire, apartment, where Harmony had lived with her father and stepmom before her disappearance nearly three years ago, in the fall of 2019
Currently incarcerated, Montgomery, 31, has been in jail since January in connection with a second-degree assault charge involving his daughter, including with failing to have her in his custody and endangering her welfare.
In April, he was hit with further charges of stealing a rifle and a shotgun before Harmony’s disappearance. His estranged wife, 31, has been charged with welfare fraud after taking out food stamps in the child’s name after she was last seen alive.
Harmony, who was blind in one eye, was in her father’s care at the time of her disappearance after her mother, Crystal Sorey, lost custody in July 2018 due to her substance abuse issues.
He has yet to be charged in Harmony’s disappearance.
The home being serached by officers belonged to Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery (at left), and his estranged wife Kayla – Harmony’s stepmom. Montgomery has been in jail since January on charges surrounding the child’s disappearance, while Kayla was hit with a felony count of welfare fraud after she allegedly took out over $1,500 in food stamps from December 2019 to June 2021 in Harmony’s name
FBI agents were filmed wrapping the home appliance in biohazard tape and loading it and a slew of other items into a truck
On January 4, investigators descended on the home and the apartment complex’s garden, with aerial footage at the time showing a crime scene tent set up in the backyard.
This time around, officer took similar measures, with local authorities first arriving and closing off the area Monday night, before federal investigators’ arrival early Tuesday.
The search saw the lawmen, many wearing protective plastic suits, repeatedly enter the apartment and exit with items that likely served as evidence in the case – most of them packed away in tape and cardboard.
Law enforcement officials were again seen setting up a green privacy tent during the search – which attracted crowds of curious residents who have been left wondering to Harmony’s fate – so that investigators could pack the materials discreetly.
The fridge, however, likely due to its size, was rolled out and wrapped outside, with press capturing it on film.
Authorities did not disclose what sparked the second search, but did concede Thursday that the Union Street home has become ‘the focus of the investigation.’
Seeing lawmen swarm the home on Tuesday, Harmony’s mother, Sorey, said she fears the worst her only daughter, saying that she believes investigators are ‘looking for a body.’
‘This is rough,’ the emotional mom told Boston 25. ‘I know in my heart this is no longer a rescue mission. They’re looking for a body.’
Sorey added that the officers’ search of the property served as a ‘step closer to finding Harmony and getting her the justice she deserves.’
Sorey previously told police the last time she last saw Harmony was on a video call around Easter 2019 while she was living at the apartment with Montgomery, where she said the the young girl looked ‘frightened.’
Missing Harmony Montgomery disappeared between November 28 and December 10, 2019, while she was living with her dad at the residence, a second-floor apartment
Harmony’s stepmom told police she hadn’t seen Adam since October and had not spoken to him since November
Timeline of Harmony Montgomery’s disapearance
July 2018: Harmony Montgomery’s mother Crystal Sorey loses custody of her due to substance abuse issues
April 2019: Sorey speaks to her daughter on FaceTime over Easter. It’s the last time she saw her daughter alive
July 2019: Adam Montgomery admits to a relative that he ‘bashed’ Harmony during one instance after she tried to get her younger brother to stop crying during a bath. A Department of Children case worker who visited the home found Harmony had a black eye
August 2019: A case worker from DCYF visits the home a second time and noticed a red mark in Harmony’s eye and faded bruising under her eyelid. The injuries are blamed on ‘horseplay’ with a younger sibling
October 2019: A case worker visits the home and notes that the family is ‘happy’
November 27, 2019: The Montgomery family is evicted from their New Hampshire apartment. Investigators said that Harmony was homeless and living out of a car with her family in the days before her disappearance
November – December 2019: Harmony is last seen alive. Her stepmother, Kayla Montgomery later told police that at the time her husband was driving Harmony to the child’s mother in Massachusetts
January 2020: A case worker with DCYF contacts Adam Montgomery to check on the child. He tells them that she was living with her mother
2021: Case workers twice visit the Montgomery home
September 2021: A ‘close contact’ of Harmony’s mother contacts authorities over concerns that Sorey hadn’t seen her daughter since 2019 and hadn’t been able to contact Adam Montgomery
November 2021: Harmony is officially reported missing
January 2022: Investigators search the home and garden in New Hampshire where Harmony lived with her father before her disappearance. Her father is jailed on charges of endangering her welfare over the July 2019 assault, and various other charges. He is not charged over her disappearance.
April 2022: Adam Montgomey is hit with further charges of stealing a rifle and a shotgun in the months before Harmony’s disappearance
June 2022: FBI officers search the Montgomery family’s former home for a second time and are seen removing a refrigerator and other pieces of furniture
Investigators revealed earlier this year that Harmony was reportedly homeless and living out of a car with her family in the days before her disappearance, after being evicted from the apartment on November 27 – right before she vanished.
During that time, Harmony’s family was either living out of a silver 2010 Chrysler Sebring, or a dark blue 2006 Audi S4.
The attorney general’s office shared stock photos of the vehicles, but said the actual condition of the cars in 2019 was worse than depicted in these photos.
Adam was arrested in January, shortly after police were made aware of Harmony’s vanishing, on multiple counts related to his daughter’s disappearance, including felony second-degree assault, one misdemeanor charge of interference with custody and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
He pleaded not guilty and was jailed in New Hampshire without bail.
Adam however has not been charged with the girl’s disappearance.
He was later hit with more charges in April, after he allegedly stole a rifle and a shotgun between September 29 and October, 3, 2019 – just months before Harmony was last seen.
It was revealed he was also considered a suspect in the February 2008 killing of Darlin Guzman, a 28 year-old computer repairman who was fatally shot in the parking lot of a convenience store in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Adam, who has a criminal record that goes back at least to 2007, has been in jail since January in connection with the second-degree assault charge.
Relatives have accused Adam Montgomery of abusing Harmony, including spanking, forcing her to scrub the toilet with her toothbrush, and leaving her standing in the corner for hours, investigators say.
His uncle told police Adam Montgomery had told him that he ‘bashed her around this house’ during one instance in 2019, after the father reportedly found her trying to get her younger brother to stop crying while she was bathing him.
According to the uncle, Adam Montgomery explained that he had left Harmony, then age 5, in charge of her infant brother while he was in the bathroom.
When the baby started crying, Adam Montgomery said he came out of the bathroom to find Harmony with her hand clamped over her brother’s mouth to stop him from crying.
‘Adam told Kevin that he responded by striking [Harmony] in the face and causing the black eye,’ according to the affidavit.
Kevin Montgomery told police he reported the 2019 assault to the Department of Children of Children Youth and Their Families (DCYF).
A caseworker visited Montgomery’s home in July 2019 and found the claim Harmony had a black eye unfounded. However, the family were ‘identified as high risk of repeat child welfare system involvement’ and were given referrals for housing supports, the review stated.
Law enforcement officials were also seen setting up a green privacy tent so that investigators could pack evidence taken from the home more discreetly
This aerial photo shows police searching the backyard at 77 Gilford Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, on January 4 – the first time they searched the property
During a second visit that August, the worker noticed a red mark in Harmony’s eye and faded bruising under her eyelid. The worker was told by Harmony and her father that the mark was caused by ‘horseplay with another sibling when a toy light saber struck Harmony Montgomery near her eye.’
Two other visits that year showed ‘the children appeared happy and healthy,’ the review said. The last visit was on October 1, 2019.
The division didn’t have contact with Adam Montgomery again until January 2020. When asked about Harmony, he said the child was living with her mother, Sorey, in Massachusetts.
A child protective services worker left a voicemail for Sorey, but the call wasn’t returned and there is no evidence of any additional attempts to contact her, the review said.
Police believe Harmony disappeared between November 28 and December 10, 2019
Seeing lawmen swarm the home, Corey Sorey, pictured here earlier this year, said she fears the worst her only daughter, saying that she believes investigators are ‘looking for a body’
Adam Montgomery made similar comments about Harmony when a case worker visited the house twice in 2021, the review said.
In September, a ‘close contact’ of Harmony’s mother contacted the division and ‘raised concerns’ that Sorey hadn’t seen her daughter since 2019 and hadn’t been able to contact Adam Montgomery, the review said. The division confirmed that Harmony had never been registered for school in the public school system.
The division attempted to find the Montgomery family and speak with Sorey, who later told police she hadn’t seen her daughter since a Facetime call around Easter 2019.
Meanwhile, Harmony’s 31-year-old stepmom has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of welfare fraud after being accused of collecting $1,500 worth of food stamps in the child’s name for a year after her disappearance.
In an interview with police on New Year’s Eve, Kayla – who shares three children with her husband, ages 4, 2 and 1 – said she last saw Harmony in November or December 2019.
She said her husband was driving Harmony to the child’s mother in Massachusetts. She said she believed Harmony had been returned to the mother, and never saw or heard about Harmony after that day, according to the police document.
She also told police she hadn’t seen Adam since October and had not spoken to him since November.
Authorities have not disclosed what they were looking for nor what led them Tuesday at the Manchester home.