‘Failures’: Emotional Manchester police chief calls for accountability in wake of Montgomery trial

Moments after Adam Montgomery was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury in the death of his 5-year-old daughter, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said Thursday represented a milestone, but not a celebration in the quest for justice for Harmony Montgomery.

“It’s never a good day with these things. Is it about winning or losing? This is about a five-year-old girl that was murdered, by her father. And I can think of no worse crime,” Aldenberg said as tears welled in his eyes.

Kayla Montgomery, the girl’s stepmother, testified during the trial Harmony was slain after Adam flew into a fit of rage in December 2019. Kayla described how Harmony’s body was hidden in the trunk of a car, a cooler, a ceiling vent, and a workplace freezer before Adam disposed of it.

Before her murder, Harmony was in and out of DCF foster homes in Massachusetts for four years until February 2019, when a judge awarded permanent custody to her father Adam, who has a long criminal history. Harmony was sent to live out of state without an ICPC, an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, between Ma and NH child welfare agencies.

Even though there was no interstate compact in place, 25 Investigates uncovered police and DCYF were at Harmony’s Manchester home multiple times between February and December 2019, when she ultimately disappeared.

While Aldenberg did not delve into specifics, the veteran police chief lobbed blame at the feet of Massachusetts and New Hampshire state officials.

“There’s been there’s been some failures here. And those failures were not on the part of the Manchester Police Department,” said Aldenberg. “I will stand by that, till the end of my career. I still firmly believe that some people in some other agencies need to be held accountable. And I’m asking for that. This little five-year-old girl, she deserves somebody to be held accountable that failed along the way. Because we wouldn’t be standing here today if other people had done their job.”

In May, The Massachusetts Office of Child Advocates released a scathing report that found the Massachusetts system prioritized parental rights over the safety and well-being of Harmony.

Kayla testified that in either March or May of 2020, Adam rented a U-Haul and during the overnight hours, made a trip to an unknown destination to dispose of Harmony’s dead body.

After Adam was convicted in Harmony’s death, Agati told reporters that multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies are still working to determine where that U-Haul rental was driven to, as well as the location of the girl’s remains.

“One of the things that we could not state before but we can more clearly state now after the verdict is that during the trial, people heard the last place Adam Montgomery had driven that U-Hhaul to. I have some specifics on that and I hope people are paying attention,” Agati said. “He drove 133 miles on that U-Haul. Subtracting the 3.2 miles back and forth from the rental, that left him with roughly a 106-mile road trip all the way down at least through the Tobin Bridge tolls, we know. Northbound, southbound, and northbound again through those tolls, and then back to Manchester. That only left him with 26 miles of driving that he could have done between where he was at the Econo Lodge in Manchester and going through the Tobin those three times.”

Aldenberg pleaded for Adam to reveal the location of Harmony’s body.

“Maybe within him is a small shred of decency, that causes him to, maybe let us know where Harmony is because he knows. So maybe somewhere in that soul or whatever’s going on there. Let’s do the right thing,” said Aldenberg.

Officials say the tip line for Harmony’s disappearance will remain open and members of the public are encouraged to call.

The tip line for the case is 603-932-8997.

“I’m still convinced somebody out there knows something a little bit more about where she may be, perhaps,” said Aldenberg. “And when the weather starts to break and people start getting out, walking around in the areas that they normally wouldn’t in the winter, maybe they keep a little extra eye open.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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