25 Investigates: Police visited home where missing NH girl was last seen 13 times over five months

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Newly released documents show Manchester Police and local child welfare authorities were aware of problems at the home where 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery lived with her father as early as August of 2019.

Police reports obtained by 25 Investigates through a public records request show Manchester PD got 13 calls for service to 77 Gilford Street between June and November of 2019. Most were for domestic violence, animal, and building complaints.

On August 5th, a neighbor called “concerned about a young child living at that address.” At the time the house was up for auction and the caller alleged “parents were squatting” and that there was “no electricity, just a small generator and there is trash everywhere.” The police reports also show that New Hampshire’s Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) was called in to check conditions too. According to the report, it was determined “Everyone’s home, generator is running, food in the house, they are healthy. All is well.”

As 25 Investigates first reported, Adam Montgomery, a man with a criminal history dating back to 2007, was awarded custody of Harmony in February 2019. She had been in Massachusetts foster care since 2018.

As 25 Investigates first reported, Adam Montgomery, a man with a criminal history dating back to 2007, was awarded custody of Harmony in February 2019. She had been in Massachusetts foster care since 2018.

Since then investigative reporter and anchor Kerry Kavanaugh learned Harmony was sent to live with her father, who also struggled with addiction, across state lines without an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC).

That interstate agreement would have put in place safeguards to ensure Harmony was living in a safe home, enrolled in school, and receiving medical care. If an ICPC had been in place it’s possible a mandated reporter, such as a teacher or doctor, could have noticed Harmony was missing much sooner. She was last seen alive in late 2019 in her father’s Manchester home. Harmony’s disappearance was not reported to police until this past New Year’s Eve.

Now lawmakers from both states are questioning the decision to reunite Harmony with her father.

“What was so compelling about this parent that the court thought this was a good placement? And then where were the guardrails that should have clearly been there,” said Massachusetts State Representative Marjorie Decker. “There are people whose job it was and is to know her whereabouts.”

She says the important guardrails that come with an ICPC would have protected a child like Harmony.

“There were clearly red flags here and ultimately a child was missing. It’s our job, whether in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, to have known that this could have happened,” added Rep. Decker.

Harmony’s disappearance is also on the radar of federal lawmakers.

In a statement, New Hampshire’s US Senator Jeanne Shaheen said: “Harmony’s case is tragic and never should have happened. My heart is with the Manchester community as Granite Staters pray and hope for news. It’s egregious that Harmony was missing for two years before law enforcement was alerted. We need answers about how this case was handled to ensure it never happens to another child again. The State needs to investigate this failure and complete a thorough review of the Division for Children, Youth and Families to get to the bottom of this gross negligence and ensure the safety of New Hampshire children that the Division is responsible for monitoring.”

The Granite State’s other US Senator, Maggie Hassan, said: “My heart is heavy over Harmony’s disappearance, and I am praying for her safety. The circumstances of her case are deeply troubling -- as the search for Harmony continues, there need to be thorough investigations to understand exactly what happened and what went wrong here.”

25 Investigates has repeatedly reached out to child protection agencies in both states about this case. No agency would provide specifics citing privacy laws.

But when speaking generally about the ICPC process Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) told us in part “placement with a caregiver is contingent on a home study done by the child welfare agency in a receiving state through the ICPC process. "

It is unclear if Massachusetts requested New Hampshire to initiate an ICPC, which would have included a home study and background check.

DCYF in New Hampshire,, meanwhile told 25 Investigates “If the information required by the ICPC regulations is not provided by the sending state, the receiving state will specify what information is needed and request it from the agency in the sending state. Until such information is provided, the home study does not begin. "

“I think what’s challenging is that under the law, the way it is today, we’re always looking at the lens of trying to find a biological parent, to ensure that parents have an opportunity to maintain a connection with that child. But what has to become equally important is what’s in the best interest of the child,” concluded Rep. Decker.