MANCHESTER N.H. — For six months, investigators have been working around the clock to find Harmony Montgomery and today their search took them to an apartment building on Union Street in Manchester.
Since news of Harmony Montgomery’s disappearance broke on New Year’s Eve, 25 Investigates has been working to understand how this little girl — known to child protection agencies in two states — fell off the radar.
Harmony spent much of her young life in and out of foster care in Massachusetts. Her mother, Crystal Sorey, struggled with addiction and permanently lost custody of her in 2018.
In February 2019, a Massachusetts Juvenile court judge sent Harmony to New Hampshire to live with her father, Adam Montgomery, a man with a long criminal record.
Manchester Police believe she was last seen in December of 2019 when she was five years old. But her disappearance wasn’t reported to police for two years.
25 Investigates was the first to report Harmony was transferred to her father’s custody without an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC). That would have put some safeguards in place and required checks, including a home study.
As we reported in January, Manchester Police and New Hampshire’s Division for Children, Youth and Families visited the home Harmony shared with her father, his wife, and their two children on multiple occasions, including to investigate allegations that Adam gave Harmony a black eye.
In February, following the events that transpired with Harmony’s case, Governor Charlie Baker announced a plan to assign a Guardian Ad Litem to represent every child involved in the Massachusetts family court system.
In addition, in May, Massachusetts lawmakers proposed a commission to study and potentially recommend changes to how child protection cases are handled by the state.
Harmony’s disappearance sparked investigations in both states.
The New Hampshire Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) released its report in February. It called for better interstate coordination and communication in child protection cases.
Just last month, the Massachusetts OCA found state agencies failed Harmony by prioritizing her parent’s rights over her needs and well-being.
Harmony turned 8 just last week.
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