Stepmom of Harmony Montgomery, N.H. 7-Year-Old Who Wasn't Reported Missing for 2 Years, Faces New Charges

Charges against Harmony's dad and stepmom have continued to mount since police reported last December that the girl had not been seen since October 2019

Harmony Montgomery
Harmony Montgomery. Photo: Crystal Sorey

The stepmom of a New Hampshire girl missing for more than two years is facing new criminal charges unrelated to the case.

The girl, Harmony Montgomery, who would now be 7 years old, has not been seen since the fall of 2019, when she was 5, police said.

On Tuesday authorities charged Kayla Montgomery, 31, who is estranged from Harmony's father, Adam, 32, with two counts of receiving or obtaining a rifle and a shotgun tied to the alleged theft of firearms in Manchester in the fall of 2019. The charges come after Adam was charged earlier this month with eight criminal counts in connection with the same alleged theft, two of which accuse him of allegedly stealing the rifle and shotgun.

Adam has pleaded not guilty to the charges; Kayla has not yet entered a plea, and an attorney for her, Paul Garrity, could not immediately be reached.

In the case of both individuals, "there is no evidence of any connection between the stolen firearms and the disappearance of Harmony Montgomery," said a statement from the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office obtained by PEOPLE. "Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, no additional information about the facts of this case will be released at this time."

But the new felony charges against Kayla, which each carry a maximum penalty of seven-and-a-half to 15 years in prison if she's found guilty, give Harmony's uncle hope that answers about the girl's whereabouts may be forthcoming.

"Hopefully that gets her to talk," the uncle, Tim Flanagan Jr., tells PEOPLE. "'Cause I really believe there's no way she doesn't know what happened."

"She deserves everything she gets," Harmony's mom, Crystal Sorey, tells PEOPLE. She adds the latest charge against Kayla "makes me sick with anger."

Harmony Montgomery, Kayla Montgomery
Harmony Montgomery, at left, and Kayla Montgomery. Manchester Police Department; N.H. Attorney General's Office/AP/Shutterstock

The newest charges against Kayla also come three months after she was charged with alleged welfare fraud beginning around the same time, in November 2019.

The girl was not reported missing for two years after she was last seen, according to a timeline in the case that Manchester police released in January.

Authorities say Harmony, then 5, appeared to be living with her dad, stepmom and the couple's two other children when they were evicted from a residence on Gilford Street in Manchester on Nov. 27, 2019.

"Multiple individuals" reported seeing the girl with Adam and Kayla in the days that followed, according to the January statement. But between Dec. 6-10, 2019, the couple was seen only with the two children they share — and not Harmony.

"This information leads police to believe that it was sometime during this window of approximately Nov. 28–Dec. 10, 2019, that Harmony Montgomery disappeared," said the statement.

Harmony Montgomery
Harmony Montgomery. Crystal Sorey

During that same time, according to witnesses, Adam, Kayla, and the other two children were homeless and living out of cars — one a silver 2010 Chrysler Sebring, and the other a dark blue 2006 Audi S4 — possibly in Manchester's North End, authorities said.

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Manchester police ask anyone who saw the vehicles or interacted with Adam, Kayla or the children during that window to call or text a 24-hour tip line dedicated to Harmony's rescue at 603-203-6060.

Charges against the estranged couple have been mounting since police made Harmony's disappearance public in December 2021.

In the welfare fraud case, Kayla is accused of "engaging in a scheme or course of conduct" from around Nov. 30, 2019, to June 2, 2021, "to steal benefits in excess of $1,500 by representing to [New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services] on various occasions that [Harmony] was in Kayla's household despite Kayla admitting that [Harmony] was not a member of her household during that time period, resulting in the receipt of in excess of $1,500 in benefits for [Harmony] to which Kayla was not entitled," according to a probable cause statement obtained by PEOPLE.

She is also accused of making intentional false statements that Harmony was living in her home with her husband and their children in February and March 2021 in order to claim benefits. It was not clear if she had entered a plea to those charges.

Before that, Adam was arrested on a charge of felony second-degree assault in connection with 2019 conduct against his daughter, said the attorney general's office. He also is charged with one misdemeanor charge of interference with custody, and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child pertaining to Harmony.

Both Adam and Kayla remain jailed at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections.

On Dec. 31, 2021, Manchester police first posted a "missing" alert for Harmony, with a separate statement that read, "The circumstances surrounding this prolonged absence are very concerning and are being thoroughly investigated."

The alert followed a call to police in November by Harmony's mother, Crystal Sorey, to report concerns about her daughter, who had been in Adam's custody since February 2019, according to the Boston Globe.

Sorey — who lost custody of her daughter due to substance abuse issues, according to court records cited by the Globe — said she hadn't seen her daughter since April 2019, when the two participated in an Easter FaceTime call.

Afterward, Storey claimed, Adam cut ties between Harmony and Sorey's family, prompting Sorey to begin calling police and child welfare services for help. Police and child services say they last saw the girl at her home in October 2019.

Police say the missing girl stands 4 feet tall and weighs 50 lbs. She is legally blind in her right eye and wears eyeglasses.

Updated by Diane Herbst
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