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Harmony Montgomery’s mother reacts as father Adam is convicted of her murder

The mother of slain five-year-old Harmony Montgomery spoke to reporters outside a courtroom after the little girl’s father was convicted of her murder.

Jurors convicted Adam Montgomery on all charges following a gruelling trial which took place more than four years on from when Harmony was last seen alive in 2019.

Authorities failed to search for the missing child – who was known to protective services – for more than two years after she went missing.

Kayla Montgomery testified that her husband struck the Harmony several times after she had a bathroom accident.

She testified that, after killing her, the family drove to a Burger King. She fed her two young sons and placed a sandwich on Harmony’s lap without realising she was dead.

“After the defendant repeatedly struck Harmony. After he put the blanket over her. After she moaned. After the strange crying moaning stopped. After you did drugs and after the car died, you thought she was sleeping under that blanket,” the prosecutor said.

“Why did you think that she may be sleeping after Adam repeatedly struck her?”

“Because she would usually just go to sleep after,” Kayla answered.

The little girl’s remains were hidden in a ceiling vent at a shelter where the family stayed after her death. Montgomery snuck the remains into his workplace freezer, before disposing of them in March 2020. Harmony’s remains have never been found.

After the verdict was handed down, Harmony’s mother Crystal Sorey told reporters she was “grateful” that it was over – but vowed that she and authorities would not stop fighting to find her daughter’s body.

She also slammed Montgomery as a “coward” for failing to attend any of his trial.

In a press conference, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg also vowed to continue to push to find Harmony.

“We’re still going to find her,” Chief Aldenberg told reporters as he choked back tears.

“This girl deserves better than the life that she had. This is never about winning or losing, this is about a five-year-old girl who was killed by her father. And I can’t think of a worse crime.”

Key points

Harmony’s mother breaks down in tears during closing arguments

Wednesday 21 February 2024 21:49 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, cried and at times covered her ears as prosecutors spoke about the horrific ways in which Harmony’s remains were handled.

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Adam Montgomery’s defence tries to blame Harmony’s murder on wife in closing statements

Thursday 22 February 2024 00:00 , Andrea Blanco

After two-and-a-half weeks and testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, the prosecution and the defence delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday morning. The defence rested its case without calling any witnesses, but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt.

Defence attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his daughter.

“Adam did some very very bad things but he did not kill his daughter,” Ms Smith told jurors.

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco reports:

Adam Montgomery tries to blame Harmony’s murder on wife in closing statements

WATCH: Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife says she ‘still care about’ him after alleged abuse

Thursday 22 February 2024 01:00 , Andrea Blanco

Jury starts deliberating in trial of New Hampshire man accused of killing daughter

Thursday 22 February 2024 02:00 , Andrea Blanco

A prosecutor said Wednesday that a New Hampshire man accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter treated her like a thing he’d broken and needed to throw away. But his lawyer said he wasn’t guilty of her death though he made terrible decisions to hide and move her body to keep his family together.

Jurors heard closing arguments before opening deliberations in the two-week trial of Adam Montgomery on a second-degree murder charge in the case of his daughter, Harmony Montgomery. Police first learned the girl was missing in December 2021 and said she was killed, though her body was never found.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Caroline Smith said Montgomery moved the body and hid it because of “a very misguided belief” he had to do so “to keep his family from being ripped apart.”

But prosecutor Benjamin Agati told jurors a different story. He said Montgomery, 34, was angry that his daughter was having bathroom accidents inside the car they were living in after they were evicted from their home. He said Montgomery punched her in the head until she died.

“All he has is his car, and his rage, and his fists,” Agati said, later adding, “She doesn’t get a headstone in the ground above the head that he battered. She doesn’t get to be at peace and death because of what he did, because he can’t afford to tell anyone where she is.”

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him: ‘I f***ed up’

Thursday 22 February 2024 03:00 , Andrea Blanco

Jury deliberations have begun in Montgomery’s trial after the defence and prosecutors concluded their cases on Wednesday.

Montgomery, 34, is facing a second-degree for allegedly beating Harmony Montgomery to death in December 2019. He conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information earlier during the proceedings.

The defence rested their case without calling any witnesses but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt. Attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his “baby girl.”

Meanwhile, prosecutor Ben Agati warned jurors “not to be fooled” by Montgomery’s partial admission.

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco reports:

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him

Harmony Montgomery was missing two years before anyone noticed. Now her father is on trial for murder

Thursday 22 February 2024 04:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony Montgomery, five, was last seen in the fall of 2019, but authorities only started searching for her two years later. Now, her father Adam Montgomery is finally standing trial for her murder.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp and Andrea Blanco report:

A missing child, murder and father on trial: What happened to Harmony Montgomery?

WATCH: Friend who loaned car to Adam Montgomery denies seeing child Harmony

Thursday 22 February 2024 05:00 , Andrea Blanco

Adam Montgomery’s fingerprints found next to Harmony’s blood

Thursday 22 February 2024 06:00 , Andrea Blanco

After Harmony was killed on 7 December 2019, her father, stepmother Kayla Montgomery, and the couple’s two infant children moved in with Kayla’s mother. At that time, Montgomery reportedly kept Harmony’s remains inside a red freezer with a white lid.

The family later moved to a shelter, where Montgomery then hid Harmony’s body inside a ceiling vent.

“He compressed and contorted her body into this bag,” the prosecution said while showing a medium-sized tote bag.

The state said that when investigators returned to the room two years later, they saw deep blood stains in the ceiling vent and smelled decomposition.

“And surrounding Harmony’s blood, all that was left of her .... the defendant’s fingerprints and palm prints, froze in there for a time,” the prosecution said.

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

Thursday 22 February 2024 07:00 , Andrea Blanco

A mystery caller dialled into a tip line with information about the Harmony Montgomery case amid her father’s New Hampshire trial over the little girl’s alleged murder.

The developments were revealed by Adam Montgomery’s defence attorney at the end of his second week of trial in Manchester. Montgomery, who is accused of beating Harmony to death in December 2019, is facing a count of second-degree murder.

Harmony Montgomery’s mother asks court to declare little girl dead amid murder trial

Adam Montgomery tries to toss wife’s testimony about Harmony’s violent murder

Thursday 22 February 2024 08:00 , Andrea Blanco

The prosecution’s case has largely hinged on testimony from Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery as well as expert investigators and DNA evidence.

Last week, Kayla testified that Montgomery murdered Harmony on 7 December 2019 after she soiled herself inside the car where the family was living following an eviction from their home.

He allegedly punched the little girl in the head multiple times.

For the next two months, Montgomery allegedly moved Harmony’s body numerous times before using power tools and chemicals to grind down her remains in the bathroom of his Union Street apartment. He then disposed of what was left of Harmony in an unknown location in March 2020.

Over the holiday weekend, the defence filed a motion seeking to toss out Kayla’s testimony, claiming that the state had tried to influence her testimony. Montgomery’s attorneys said they had decided against requesting a mistrial at that point, but wanted jurors to dismiss Kayla’s account of the events on 7 December 2019.

After the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday, defence attorney Caroline Smith argued that Kayla had “no credibility”.

“The only evidence with regards to how Harmony died, or who killed Harmony is Kayla Montgomery’s testimony,” Ms Smith said. “Kayla Montgomery is a convicted perjurer. Her story went through various iterations, that I quite frankly think were pretty ludicrous as far as the degree of violence that nobody could accomplish in public and not be seen by anyone.”

Kayla previously told jurors that Harmony was so badly abused by her father that she was often kept under a blanket to cover the bruises on her body. She also said the little girl’s face was covered with dried blood from beatings in the days prior to her killing.

Earlier on in the trial, Montgomery conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information. His attorneys have argued in court that Harmony died under Kayla’s care and that he went along with plans to hide her body to “protect” his family.

Ms Smith also argued that a charge of abuse against Montgomery should be dismissed. The assault count stems from an incident in August 2019 in which Montgomery allegedly gave Harmony a black eye.

Montgomery’s uncle Kevin Montgomery, who also took the stand, had notified the Division of Children, Youth & Families. He recounted to the jury how his nephew boasted about hitting Harmony and “bashing her around the house”.

Harmony Montgomery’s mother asks court to declare little girl dead amid father’s murder trial

Thursday 22 February 2024 09:00 , Andrea Blanco

Crystal Sorey filed the petition in late January, just days before Adam Montgomery’s second-degree murder trial kicked off in Manchester. Montgomery, 34, has conceded on two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in the death of his daughter.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Ms Sorey intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit for Harmony’s killing. A probate court has scheduled a hearing for March to hear arguments on the matter.

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco reports:

Harmony Montgomery’s mother asks court to declare little girl dead amid murder trial

WATCH: Ex-police officer describes processing car which Harmony Montgomery was murdered in

Thursday 22 February 2024 10:00 , Andrea Blanco

Rampant abuse, damning DNA evidence and a ‘betrayal’ prison letter: Harmony Montgomery trial’s key revelations

Thursday 22 February 2024 11:00 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery, 34, is charged with second-degree murder in the December 2019 death of Harmony Montgomery. During the first week of trial, he conceded on two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information.

Harmony disappeared in 2019, but police didn’t know she was missing until two years later, when her mother publicly demanded an investigation after months of failed attempts to get in touch with Montgomery.

Montgomery’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery later came forward with allegations that he fatally hit Harmony in the head after she soiled herself while the family was travelling in a car. Kayla and Adam Montgomery’s then-infant sons were also inside the vehicle, where the family had been living after being evicted from their home in November 2019.

What followed were two years of disturbing plots to hide Harmony’s decomposing body. Montgomery finally disposed of it at an unknown location in March 2020.

Harmony’s remains have never been found.

Here are some of the key revelations that have emerged in court during the trial:

Key revelations in Harmony Montgomery murder trial

Adam Montgomery said he ‘hated Harmony because she reminded him of her mother’

Thursday 22 February 2024 12:00 , Andrea Blanco

A former friend of accused child murderer Adam Montgomery has revealed the reason why he allegedly hated his five-year-old daughter Harmony.

Rebecca Maines took the stand at Montgomery’s ongoing trial in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Tuesday.

Montgomery is facing a charge of second-degree murder and has conceded two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in Harmony’s death.

According to the prosecution, Montgomery beat his daughter to death after she soiled herself inside the family car in December 2019. He hid and moved her remains around for two months, before disposing of them in an unknown location in March 2020.

On Tuesday, Ms Maines testified that she and Montgomery met in 2021 when they were both recovering addicts. Ms Maines called Montgomery “her best friend” and told the court that they had spent a lot of time travelling together before Montgomery’s arrest in late 2022.

During her testimmony, Ms Maines, a former nurse, recalled an instance in which Montgomery reportedly admitted to her that he hated Harmony.

“Did he tell you how that made him feel?” prosecutor Ben Agati asked.

“He said he hated her, right to his core,” Ms Maines answered. “It reminded him of her mother.”

Adam Montgomery said police ‘were wasting their time’ trying to find Harmony’s remains

Thursday 22 February 2024 13:00 , Andrea Blanco

On Tuesday, the prosecution called Manchester Police Detective Matthew Larochelle to the stand. During direct cross-examination, the state played the recording of a call between Montgomery and an unknown individual that took place around the time that the FBI and other law enforcement organizations were searching for Harmony’s remains near the Merrimack River.

“One dude went to the police and I was blown away,” Montgomery told the other person on the call. “This dude was like, ‘Oh, my friend ... he passed away, but he was very cool with Adam. He told me Adam gave his daughter to him to bury by the river. I can bring you to the spot.’

“They had the FBI and everybody else there digging up the river. I’m like, is this real life right now? They wasted their time.’

When the other individual said that authorities were just doing their due diligence, Montgomery said the allegations were “outlandish” and that the search was a “waste of taxpayers’ money.”

“I get it, you’re trying to prove a case, kudos to you, But, at what cost, man? Just going to chase down people that f***ing call in from Arizona?” Montgomery said.

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

Thursday 22 February 2024 14:00 , Andrea Blanco

Tarah Hilbert, the building manager at the Union Street apartment where Montgomery, his estranged wife Kayla Montgomery and their two infant sons lived after Harmony was killed, took the stand on Friday.

Ms Hilbert told jurors that she befriended the Montgomerys six months after they moved to the building complex in 2020, and often spent time with Kayla and the boys.

She then recounted a conversation in which Montgomery told her he had a daughter who lived with her mother in Lowell, Massachusetts.

“He said he had a daughter named Harmony and he hadn’t seen her in a couple of years because her mother had taken her,” Ms Hilbert said.

It is unclear when exactly the exchange took place, but it was at least eight months after Harmony was killed.

During cross-examination, defence attorney Caroline Smith brought up the context in which Montgomery volunteered that information.

“That conversation came up sort of the topic of him missing her, and you asked, ‘Well, where is she?’” Ms Smith asked. “And he said Lowell, Mass.”

Ms Hilbert agreed that this was correct.

Deliberations resume

Thursday 22 February 2024 14:25 , Andrea Blanco

We’re back on verdict watch.

Jurors left for the day yesterday following roughly three hours of deliberation.

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him: ‘I f***ed up’

Thursday 22 February 2024 15:24 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery, 34, is facing a second-degree for allegedly beating Harmony Montgomery to death in December 2019. He conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information earlier during the proceedings.

The defence rested their case without calling any witnesses but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt. Attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his “baby girl.”

Meanwhile, prosecutor Ben Agati warned jurors “not to be fooled” by Montgomery’s partial admission.

“Let’s quote people accurately,” Mr Agati said, referencing Ms Attorney’s closing arguments. “‘I f***ed up.’ His language, that he used...the night that he disappeared Harmony’s body to wherever place it is now, where he knows. His words, ‘I f***ed up.’ Not she, not we, not Kayla. ‘I’. Singular, personal, solo.”

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him

Prosecutor Ben Agati’s moving closing statements

Thursday 22 February 2024 16:25 , Andrea Blanco

“The defendant admitted only to what he had to,” Mr Agati said. “Because he thinks that you are going to be fooled.”

“He thinks if you let him slide on the murder, you’ll let him slide on the other two.”

“He admits what he can’t deny. He denies what he can’t afford to admit.”

“And the only parts of Harmony that are left will be with you in that deliberation room, on that pink toothbrush, and on that part of the ceiling wall, that’s there

“And the other parts of her body. Her torso, her face, her eyes, that smile ... only the defendant, as we sit and stand here today, knows where they are.

“And he can’t afford to say where they are, because the evidence contained on them will show that she caused her death, so she won’t get the burial that she deserves.

Jury has question for Judge Messer

Thursday 22 February 2024 16:56 , Andrea Blanco

No verdict yet, but the jury has a question.

Jurors ask about definition of ‘consciously disregarded’

Thursday 22 February 2024 17:20 , Andrea Blanco

The judge, prosecutors and the defence discussed the jury’s question privately.

According to WMUR, the jury asked how the court would define the term “consciously disregarded.”

“The jury has been given the legal definition of the mental state recklessly. You must use the definition provided,” the court was quoted as saying in their answer. “You should use your common sense in judgment, and consider the ordinary usage of the terms within the definition. No additional instruction on this will be provided.”

BREAKING NEWS:Verdict reached

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:08 , Andrea Blanco

A verdict has been reached, according to WFLA.

Verdict reached in Adam Montgomery’s trial over daughter Harmony’s murder

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:12 , Andrea Blanco

A panel of jurors have reached a verdict in Adam Montgomery’s trial over the murder of his five-year-old daughter.

Montgomery, 34, is standing trial in Manchester, New Hampshire for allegedly beating Harmony Montgomery to death in December 2019. Two weeks and a half into the proceedings and after testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, the prosecution and the defence delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday morning.

Verdict reached in Adam Montgomery’s trial over daughter Harmony’s murder

BREAKING: Adam Montgomery found guilty on all charges

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:21 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery is not in court. He has refused to attend his trial.

The courtroom is filled with Manchester Police officers

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:25 , Andrea Blanco

Several investigators took the stand throughout the trial, and one of the witnesses described the search for Harmony as the department’s “biggest investigation.”

Harmony’s mother Crystal Sorey reacts to guilty verdict

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:28 , Andrea Blanco

“It was a relief, for a second I thought he was going to get away with it,” Ms Sorey said.

“I’ve heard it so much over the last four years. It was very hard, but I have to stay strong for my boys. I’m going on five years clean. I’m her voice, I’m the person who is going to carry her memory and never forget her.”

“He is a coward. He took her away from the people who loved her because he couldn’t handle that he didn’t have control.”

Crystal Sorey says Montgomery will have to face her during sentencing

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:31 , Andrea Blanco

“I’ll be there, and I’ll be looking him in the face while I say my victim impact statement. He can’t get away from that,” Ms Sorey said. “He has to be there. He has to listen.”

Ms Sorey thanked everyone who reached out to her and supported her throughout the last four years.

“I did everything that I could.”

Ms Sorey says Harmony ‘is no longer a Montgomery'

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:32 , Andrea Blanco

“She’s no longer Harmony Montgomery. She’s Harmony Renee. She’s not a Montgomery,” Ms Sorey says.

The defence’s succinct response to reporters outside courtroom

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:34 , Andrea Blanco

“Everything we had to say, we said in court,” attorney Caroline Smith told reporters when asked why her client did not attend his trial.

BREAKING: Adam Montgomery found guilty of daughter Harmony’s 2019 murder

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:35 , Andrea Blanco

Jurors in Montgomery’s three-week trial in Manchester, New Hampshire, heard testimony from more than two dozen witnesses before the prosecution and the defence delivered closing arguments on Wednesday morning.

Montgomery, 34, was found guilty on a second-degree charge in connection with Harmony’s death in December 2019. Earlier in the trial, Montgomery had conceded on two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information.

Shortly after 1pm on Thursday after nearly seven hours of deliberation, Judge Amy Messer announced that a verdict had been reached. Harmony’s mother Crystal Sorey, and her foster parents Michelle and Timothy Raftery were in the courtroom when Judge Messer read the guilty verdict. Montgomery only attended the first day of jury selection and did not return to the courtroom for the remainder of the proceedings

Read more:

Adam Montgomery found guilty of daughter Harmony’s 2019 murder

Lead prosecutor Ben Agati holds press conference following guilty verdict

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:43 , Andrea Blanco

“They had to listen to facts that the Manchester Police Department has had to live with.

“I think a lot of people did not know the facts. We are very grateful to the jury for their attention and their time. It is a big relief that they have seen through and that they held him accountable for the actions that he committed,” Mr Agati said.

“I know other statements in the past ... ‘Why waste so much time and resources on this little girl? Where are the resources for other cases?’ Every person who has their life taken in a murder ... has value to their life.”

“That attention is put on every case. “

Prosecutor Ben Agati says authorities hope to find Harmony’s remains

Thursday 22 February 2024 18:58 , Andrea Blanco

“One of the things that we could not state before ... During trial, we heard that the last place people saw Adam Montgomery drive that U-Haul to between March 3 and March 4 in 2020,” Mr Agati said.

“He drove 133 miles, so tracking back the 3.2 miles from the rental, that left him with roughly a 106-mile road trip all the way down through tolls and back to Manchester.

“What that means is .. she is somewhere along that route. You heard about the searches that have been done near the Rumney Marsh Reservation, around the Chelsea Creek Area.

“Those are still our big areas of search. And the areas where we are still hoping somebody sees something

“Anyone who may have seen the trial, also would have seen the CMC bag [where Harmony’s body was stored]. He had that bag in the U-Haul.

“We’re still asking for anybody who has heard this information. If you see this bag while taking the dog out ... please let us know.

“There’s a part of her body that we haven’t recovered. We’re still hoping that we can do that and she gets a proper burial.”

‘We’re going to find her, Manchester Police Chief says

Thursday 22 February 2024 19:03 , Andrea Blanco

“It’s hard,” Chief Allen Aldenberg told reporters as he choked back tears. “We’re still going to find her.”

“This girl deserves better than the life that she had. This is never about winning of losing, this is about a five-year-old girl who was killed by her father. And I can’t think of a worse crime.”

Manchester PD Chief calls for people to be held accountable

Thursday 22 February 2024 19:08 , Andrea Blanco

“There have been some failures, but those failures were not by Manchester police. And I will hold that by the end of my career. I still think some people in other agencies need to be held accountable

“This little five-year-old girl deserves people held accountable who failed along the way. We wouldn’t be standing here today if other people had done their job.

Montgomery to be sentenced this Spring

Thursday 22 February 2024 19:09 , Andrea Blanco

Mr Agati said that he expects sentencing to take place sometime between late April and early May.

‘We will continue until we find her'

Thursday 22 February 2024 19:15 , Andrea Blanco

“It’s important that we find her for dignity,” Mr Agati said. “It’s what she deserves.

“And so the search for her will continue until we find her.”

Harmony Montgomery’s mother chokes up as she slams absent murderer Adam

Thursday 22 February 2024 19:49 , Andrea Blanco

On Thursday, the 34-year-old was found guilty on a second-degree charge in connection with Harmony’s death in December 2019. Ms Sorey and other family members attended the verdict; Montgomery did not. He hadn’t appeared in court since the first day of jury selection.

“She’s no longer Harmony Mongtomery, she’s Harmony Renee,” Ms Sorey said after the guilty verdict, explaining that they shared the same middle name. “She’s no longer a Montgomery.”

After the verdict, Ms Sorey remarked on Montgomery’s absence: “He’s a coward.”

The Independent’s Kelly Rissman reports:

Harmony Montgomery’s mother chokes up as she slams absent murderer Adam

WATCH: Adam Montgomery convicted of second-degree murder of daughter Harmony

Thursday 22 February 2024 20:13 , Andrea Blanco

Rampant abuse, damning DNA evidence and a ‘betrayal’ prison letter: Harmony Montgomery trial’s key revelations

Thursday 22 February 2024 20:56 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony disappeared in 2019, but police didn’t know she was missing until two years later, when her mother publicly demanded an investigation after months of failed attempts to get in touch with Montgomery.

Montgomery’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery later came forward with allegations that he fatally hit Harmony in the head after she soiled herself while the family was travelling in a car. Kayla and Adam Montgomery’s then-infant sons were also inside the vehicle, where the family had been living after being evicted from their home in November 2019.

What followed were two years of disturbing plots to hide Harmony’s decomposing body. Montgomery finally disposed of it at an unknown location in March 2020.

Harmony’s remains have never been found.

Here are some of the key revelations that have emerged in court during the trial:

Key revelations in Harmony Montgomery murder trial

Adam Montgomery’s fingerprints found next to Harmony’s blood

Thursday 22 February 2024 22:03 , Andrea Blanco

After Harmony was killed on 7 December 2019, her father, stepmother Kayla Montgomery, and the couple’s two infant children moved in with Kayla’s mother. At that time, Montgomery reportedly kept Harmony’s remains inside a red freezer with a white lid.

The family later moved to a shelter, where Montgomery then hid Harmony’s body inside a ceiling vent.

“He compressed and contorted her body into this bag,” the prosecution said while showing a medium-sized tote bag.

The state said that when investigators returned to the room two years later, they saw deep blood stains in the ceiling vent and smelled decomposition.

“And surrounding Harmony’s blood, all that was left of her .... the defendant’s fingerprints and palm prints, froze in there for a time,” the prosecution said.

Adam Montgomery used quicklime to dissolve body in bathtub

Thursday 22 February 2024 22:30 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery began discussing ways to dispose of Harmony’s body in March 2020, after he and Kayla Montgomery moved to an apartment on Union Street with their children.

“He discussed using a saw to cut her up. He discussed using lime to further decompose her so she couldn’t be found,” the prosecution said during opening statements. “Remember, he believed that if there was no body there could be no evidence and he could get away with this.”

The state said that he compressed the sealed bag with Harmony’s remains and added quicklime to the bag.

“Thinking that it would eat away anything left of her,” the prosecution said. “He spent most of the day in that bathroom compressing Harmony.”

According to the prosecution, Montgomery took Harmony’s frozen remains and put them in the tub, running hot water to further manipulate what was left of the body. Kayla Montgomery then walked inside the bathroom and allegedly saw Montgomery.

She saw that Harmony was largely skin, bones and fluid – and that Mr Montgomery was trying to dispose of her remains down the drain, the prosecution said.

Harmony Montgomery was missing two years before anyone noticed. Now her father is on trial for murder

Thursday 22 February 2024 23:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony Montgomery, five, was last seen in the fall of 2019, but authorities only started searching for her two years later. Now, her father Adam Montgomery is finally standing trial for her murder.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp and Andrea Blanco report:

A missing child, murder and father’s conviction: What happened to Harmony Montgomery?

Where is Harmony?

00:00 , Andrea Blanco

The girl’s remains have never been found.

The Gilford Street property was the focus of much of the search, with investigators seen in the home and the backyard for multiple days.

However, Manchester Police said the search concluded there. It is not clear if anything of interest was uncovered and no other locations for searches have been identified.

During the trial, attorney Caroline Smith brought up a tip made by an unknown individual.

“During the course of the trial, apparently somebody contacted the tipline and was interviewed, gave information,” Ms Smith told Judge Amy Messer. “The state has given us a recording of the interview. I have not [gone through it.] We certainly have somebody trying to go through it. I don’t know, and I don’t need to name this person. I don’t know if we’ll be seeking to call this person [to testify].”

Senior assistant attorney general Ben Agati later explained that the call was placed by a woman on Tuesday after she had spent several days watching the trial. Manchester Police only notified the prosecution the following day.

“She came into the station to be interviewed and provided a statement,” Mr Agati said.

Mr Agati said that a written report and the taped interview were sent to his office and then forwarded to the defence. Judge Messer asked Ms Smith to expeditiously file a motion seeking to have the mystery called on her witness list if the defence wished to call her to the stand.

The judge also asked the prosecution to advise the individual against watching the remainder of the trial.

Anyone with information is asked to call or text 603-932-8997

Harmony Montgomery’s mother chokes up as she slams absent murderer Adam

01:00 , Andrea Blanco

On Thursday, Harmony’s 34-year-old father was found guilty of second-degree murder and other charges in connection to her December 2019 killing.

Ms Sorey and other family members attended the verdict, while Montgomery did not. He has failed to show up at the trial at all, other than on the first day of jury selection.

Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom moments after jurors convicted Montgomery on all charges, Ms Sorey remarked on Montgomery’s absence: “He’s a coward.”

Asked if she had a message for him, she said, “I hope that what he did plays over in his mind every single waking moment that he lives on this earth. And I hope he never falls asleep without seeing her beautiful face.”

Harmony Montgomery’s mother chokes up as she slams absent murderer Adam

Harmony Montgomery was murdered by her father. These are all the systems that failed her

02:00 , Andrea Blanco

A five-year-old girl slipped through the cracks, was killed by a parent, and then was left undiscovered for two years.

The Independent’s Kelly Rissman and Andrea Blanco report on everything that led to the little girl’s death:

Murdered Harmony Montgomery was failed by courts, then forgotten about for 2 years

WATCH: Crystal Sorey reacts to guilty verdict in daughter Harmony's murder

03:00

Montgomery discussed using NutriBullet to further reduce remains

04:00 , Andrea Blanco

Kayla alleged that Montgomery discussed using a handsaw and a NutriBullet to destroy Harmony’s rotting remains. Montgomery spent hours inside the bathroom “dethawing” Harmony’s frozen remains, cutting the clothes off the body, and running hot water onto what remained of the little girl, she said.

“He wanted to use a handsaw and a NutriBullet,” Kayla told the court. “He said that’d be good to use to help get rid of her ... I saw Harmony folded together the same way she was when we took her out of the car. She looked like she had barely any skin, just skin and bones and was very bruised. He had the hot water running ... in the tub.”

It is unclear whether Montgomery actually used a NutriBullet. According to the prosecution, Montgomery did purchase lime, a metal-cutting blade and a grinder at a Home Depot.

IN PICTURES: Gallery filled with law enforcement hears guilty verdict

05:00 , Andrea Blanco

 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)

Harmony had dried blood from being hit days before her death

06:00 , Andrea Blanco

Under cross-examination, Kayla Montogmery admitted that Harmony often had dried blood on her face from being beaten by her father.

“And you didn’t clean her face?” defence attorney Caroline Smith asked.

“No, we just kept her under the blanket,” an emotionless Kayla answered.

Kayla Montgomery put Burger King sandwich on Harmony’s lap without realising she was dead

07:00 , Andrea Blanco

Kayla Montgomery said that after Montgomery hit Harmony to death, the family drove to a Burger King. She fed her two young sons and placed a sandwich on Harmony’s lap without realising she was dead.

“After the defendant repeatedly struck Harmony. After he put the blanket over her. After she moaned. After the strange crying moaning stopped. After you did drugs and after the car died, you thought she was sleeping under that blanket,” the prosecutor said.

“Why did you think that she may be sleeping after Adam repeatedly struck her?”

“Because she would usually just go to sleep after,” Kayla Montgomery answered.

Montgomerys used SNAP benefits to pay for drugs

08:00 , Andrea Blanco

The Montgomerys’ dealer took food stamps as a form of payment for drugs.

As a result, Kayla Montgomery said, the whole family found themselves having to eat baby food.

“Who was eating baby food while you were living in that car?” the prosecutor asked.

“All of us,” Kayla Montgomery said as she broke down in tears. “Myself, and the boys and Harmony.”

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him: ‘I f***ed up’

09:00 , Andrea Blanco

The defence rested their case without calling any witnesses but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt. Attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his “baby girl.”

Meanwhile, prosecutor Ben Agati warned jurors “not to be fooled” by Montgomery’s partial admission.

“Let’s quote people accurately,” Mr Agati said, referencing Ms Attorney’s closing arguments. “‘I f***ed up.’ His language, that he used...the night that he disappeared Harmony’s body to wherever place it is now, where he knows. His words, ‘I f***ed up.’ Not she, not we, not Kayla. ‘I’. Singular, personal, solo.”

Mr Agati argued that Montgomery had only conceded on two charges because he thought jurors would then “let the murder charge slide.”

“He admits what he can’t deny. He denies what he can’t afford to admit,” the prosecutor told the court.

He continued: “And the other parts of her body. Her torso, her face, her eyes, that smile...only the defendant, as we sit and stand here today, knows where they are. And he can’t afford to say where they are, because the evidence contained on them will show that he caused her death, so she won’t get the burial that she deserves.”

Adam Montgomery said police ‘were wasting their time’ trying to find Harmony’s remains

10:00 , Andrea Blanco

On Tuesday, the prosecution called Manchester Police Detective Matthew Larochelle to the stand. During direct cross-examination, the state played the recording of a call between Montgomery and an unknown individual that took place around the time that the FBI and other law enforcement organizations were searching for Harmony’s remains near the Merrimack River.

“One dude went to the police and I was blown away,” Montgomery told the other person on the call. “This dude was like, ‘Oh, my friend ... he passed away, but he was very cool with Adam. He told me Adam gave his daughter to him to bury by the river. I can bring you to the spot.’

“They had the FBI and everybody else there digging up the river. I’m like, is this real life right now? They wasted their time.’

When the other individual said that authorities were just doing their due diligence, Montgomery said the allegations were “outlandish” and that the search was a “waste of taxpayers’ money.”

“I get it, you’re trying to prove a case, kudos to you, But, at what cost, man? Just going to chase down people that f***ing call in from Arizona?” Montgomery said.

Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after alleged murder

11:00 , Andrea Blanco

Tarah Hilbert, the building manager at the Union Street apartment where Montgomery, his estranged wife Kayla Montgomery and their two infant sons lived after Harmony was killed, told jurors that she befriended the Montgomerys six months after they moved to the building complex in 2020.

She then recounted a conversation in which Montgomery told her he had a daughter who lived with her mother in Lowell, Massachusetts.

“He said he had a daughter named Harmony and he hadn’t seen her in a couple of years because her mother had taken her,” Ms Hilbert said.

It is unclear when exactly the exchange took place, but it was at least eight months after Harmony was killed.

During cross-examination, defence attorney Caroline Smith brought up the context in which Montgomery volunteered that information.

“That conversation came up sort of the topic of him missing her, and you asked, ‘Well, where is she?’” Ms Smith asked. “And he said Lowell, Mass.”

Ms Hilbert agreed that this was correct.

Adam Montgomery found guilty of daughter Harmony’s 2019 murder

12:00 , Andrea Blanco

urors in Montgomery’s three-week trial in Manchester, New Hampshire, heard testimony from more than two dozen witnesses before the prosecution and the defence delivered closing arguments on Wednesday morning.

Montgomery, 34, was found guilty on a second-degree charge in connection with Harmony’s death in December 2019. Earlier in the trial, Montgomery had conceded on two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information.

Shortly after 1pm on Thursday after nearly seven hours of deliberation, Judge Amy Messer announced that a verdict had been reached. Harmony’s mother Crystal Sorey, and her foster parents Michelle and Timothy Raftery were in the courtroom when Judge Messer read the guilty verdict. Montgomery himself only attended the first day of jury selection and did not return to the courtroom for the remainder of the proceedings.

Adam Montgomery found guilty of daughter Harmony’s 2019 murder

Harmony Montgomery prosecutors vow to find little girl’s body after father’s murder conviction

13:00 , Andrea Blanco

Adam Montgomery was convicted on Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in connection with Harmony’s December 2019 death. According to testimony introduced in court, Montgomery beat Harmony to death after the little girl soiled herself in the back of his car.

Montgomery then went to horrific lengths to conceal and reduce Harmony’s remains. Her body has never been found, despite several massive multi-state searches along the route that Montgomery took on the night in March 2020 when he disposed of the remains.

The jury returned the guilty verdict after roughly seven hours of deliberation. At a press conference outside the courtroom, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg noted that the department’s determination to find Harmony would not be impacted by the ending of the trial.

“We’re still going to find her,” Chief Aldenberg told reporters as he choked back tears. “This girl deserves better than the life that she had. This is never about winning or losing, this is about a five-year-old girl who was killed by her father. And I can’t think of a worse crime.”

Harmony Montgomery prosecutors vow to find her body after father’s murder conviction