A second arrest has been made in the disappearance of a 7-year-old New Hampshire girl who hasn’t been seen since 2019, but who police just recently learned is missing.
Kayla Montgomery, 31, was arrested Wednesday and charged with welfare fraud in connection with the disappearance of Harmony Montgomery, according to New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella.
Kayla Montgomery is married to Harmony's father, Adam Montgomery, who was arrested Tuesday in connection with his daughter's disappearance and charged with felony second-degree assault, interference with custody and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
Kayla Montgomery is accused of collecting more than $1,500 in food stamp benefits for Harmony, even though Harmony was no longer living with Kayla and Adam. The couple have three children together, but Harmony is not Kayla's biological daughter.
Kayla told police on Dec. 31, 2021 that Adam said he was returning Harmony to her mom in late 2019, according to an affidavit. Kayla said she hadn't seen Harmony since.
Police found Adam on Dec. 31, 2021, sleeping in a car with his new girlfriend, the affidavit said. He said Harmony's mom had come to pick her up in late 2019, contradicting Kayla's story.
And Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, said she had not seen Harmony, who was in the physical and legal custody of her ex, Adam Montgomery, since April 2019, when she saw her on a video call.
She called the Manchester Police Department on Nov. 18 to report her daughter missing, and on Dec. 27, the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families reported to police that it was also unable to locate Harmony.
Investigators determined that Harmony had last been seen at a Manchester residence by police during a “call for service” in late October 2019, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said during a news conference Friday.
Aldenberg said Monday that the department was “operating under the assumption she’s alive and well and that’s how we’ll operate until someone convinces me otherwise.”
“I’m in rescue mode. We are not in a recovery operation,” Aldenberg said.
Late Tuesday, the Manchester Police Department said that, with help from donations from community members, the reward for info leading to finding Harmony totaled $33,000.