Newly-released court documents shed light on the presumed murder of long-missing 5-year-old New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery – including how she was allegedly killed by her father, Adam Montgomery.
According to the 48-page affidavit of probable cause included with the defendant’s arrest warrant, investigators believe Adam Montgomery, 33, repeatedly punched his daughter in the face and head, with a closed fist, because he was mad at her for having bathroom accidents in the car where the family was living at the time.
The Montgomery family had been evicted the day before Thanksgiving in 2019.
The details of how the girl is believed to have died came by way of her former stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, 32, the defendant’s estranged wife.
“Kayla stated that while living in the vehicle together, Adam was extremely upset that five-year-old Harmony was not saying when she needed to go to the bathroom and was having accidents in the car,” the affidavit says. “[A]fter each accident Adam would get upset and would strike Harmony in the face/head with a closed fist.”
The affidavit was unsealed by a judge and obtained by Law&Crime from a court clerk on Tuesday.
Kayla Montgomery previously lied to law enforcement about Harmony Montgomery’s whereabouts and, later, said her husband coerced her into repeating those lies to a grand jury about the circumstances surrounding her stepdaughter’s death and disappearance.
She was charged with two counts of perjury for those lies. She initially pleaded not guilty but later accepted a plea deal, admitting legal culpability and agreeing to testify against her estranged husband in exchange for a sentencing reduction and the dismissal of other charges against her. Kayla Montgomery was convicted on those perjury counts earlier this month after testifying against Adam Montgomery during his trial on gun theft charges, for which he was convicted.
Adam Montgomery’s rage toward his own daughter culminated on Dec. 7, 2019, Kayla Montgomery told investigators. On that day, “Adam struck Harmony in the face/head on three separate occasions because she had a bathroom accident,” the affidavit says.
“This happened while Adam was driving the vehicle; Kayla described that Harmony was in the rear seat on the passenger side, and while Adam was driving he turned his body and delivered sets of three-to-four blows with a closed fist to Harmony’s face/head on three separate occasions over the course of a few minutes,” the affidavit goes on. “Kayla stated that after the final blow, Adam said words to the effect of that he felt something or heard something when he hit Harmony.”
“I think I really hurt her this time,” Adam Montgomery allegedly said after the attack, his wife recalled. “I think I did something.”
Kayla Montgomery eventually told police that Harmony Montgomery made a “moaning type noise” for about five minutes before the sounds of the child dying finally stopped. During this time, however, Kayla Montgomery said, no one in the car checked on the injured girl or sought any kind of medical attention.
After the violence, Kayla Montgomery told investigators, the family returned to the parking lot of the apartment complex where they had consistently been parking their car, a Chrysler Sebring, since being evicted. There, they sat for some 20 minutes, the affidavit says – again no one checked on the little girl. Kayla Montgomery at first said she didn’t remember what happened during this time period, but in a second interview said that she and Adam Montgomery had used a combination of heroin and fentanyl. After leaving the apartment parking lot, the car broke down sometime around mid-morning; that’s when the couple “discovered that Harmony was not breathing and was deceased,” according to the document.
“Kayla stated that Adam went to the trunk of the vehicle, removed clothing from a black and red Under Armour duffle bag and placed the lifeless body of Harmony into the bag,” the affidavit says. “Kayla stated at no point did either of them have any conversation about getting any type of lifesaving measures for Harmony, and that Adam simply put Harmony’s dead body into the bag and walked it back to the parking lot of the Colonial Village apartments.”
According to Kayla Montgomery, her husband kept Harmony Montgomery’s body in the duffel bag and moved it around for several months. In the immediate aftermath of her death, Kayla Montgomery told investigators, her husband occasionally kept his daughter’s body outside in the snow to slow down the process of decomposition.
After living in a friend’s car, the Montgomerys moved in with Kayla Montgomery’s mother, where Harmony Montgomery’s body was left inside of a red cooler until the end of December 2019. After that, the Montgomerys moved into a Families in Transition shelter. There, Kayla Montgomery said, the duffel bag containing the girl’s body began to leak and emit an odor, so Adam Montgomery put it in a trash bag before hiding it inside of a vent shaft in the ceiling of their bedroom.
Detectives would later remove the entire section of the ceiling, along with the vent, and find stains indicative of decomposition.
In February 2020, the Montgomerys moved into an apartment. Harmony Montgomery’s body was allegedly moved again at that time, although details of the corpse’s next movements are described in two different ways in the affidavit.
First, the girl’s body was placed in a plastic storage bin, Kayla Montgomery told investigators. Then, when the bag began to leak, was placed in a second trash bag and moved to the refrigerator. Later, she told investigators, the girl’s body was transferred to a much smaller tote bag. The affidavit notes that second bag “would likely not fit Harmony’s body unless it was dismembered or grossly distorted.”
Eventually that tote bag was stored in the walk-in freezer of a restaurant where Adam Montgomery worked as a dishwasher and a cook, the affidavit says. Other employees at the restaurant would later tell law enforcement that they saw the bag in the freezer, knew it belonged to the alleged murderer, but never thought to ask him about it or look inside because the label on the tote bag, affiliated with a Catholic maternity hospital, suggested the contents were related to Adam Montgomery’s children.
In a second interview, Kayla Montgomery admitted that the girl’s body was actually transferred to the smaller bag at the shelter. She told police in graphic and macabre terms how Adam Montgomery used some 20 pounds of lime to try and dissolve some of his daughter’s frozen body while “squishing” her flesh – and how she helped cut away the young girl’s clothes to make the body fit inside the tote bag.
“Harmony wasn’t bones; she had skin, teeth, and hair, and Kayla could still tell it was her,” the affidavit says. “Kayla described Adam eventually pushing and pushing on Harmony’s body, and then she heard a bang; she was not able to elaborate on what this bang was. Adam also banged the [Catholic Medical Center] maternity bag on the floor while zipping it.”
Eventually, Kayla Montgomery said, her husband rented a U-Haul truck to dispose of Harmony Montgomery’s body. Multiple other witnesses confirmed that Adam Montgomery rented such a truck in early March 2020. To date, the girl’s remains have not been found.
In August 2022, after nearly eight months of investigation by various state, county, and federal law enforcement agencies, Harmony Montgomery was declared dead based on numerous leads, including biological evidence. In October 2022, her father, Adam Montgomery, was charged with one count of murder in the second degree for recklessly causing her death “by repeatedly striking Harmony in the head with a closed fist.”
In January, Adam Montgomery was formally indicted on one count each of second degree murder, tampering with witnesses and informants, falsifying physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse.
His murder trial will begin in late November.
Read the full affidavit below:
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