What to know about the Harmony Montgomery murder case

Superior Court Justice Amy Messer talks with the lawyers during the trial of Adam Montgomery at Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP)

Superior Court Justice Amy Messer talks with the lawyers during the trial of Adam Montgomery at Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP) Jeffrey Hastings

Law enforcement sit at the trial of Adam Montgomery at Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP)

Law enforcement sit at the trial of Adam Montgomery at Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP) Jeffrey Hastings

Crystal Sorey, Harmony Montgomery's biological mother, speaks with the media outside Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP)

Crystal Sorey, Harmony Montgomery's biological mother, speaks with the media outside Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP) Jeffrey Hastings

A large group of Manchester Police Officers stand in Hillsborough County Superior Court during Adam Montgomery's trial, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP).

A large group of Manchester Police Officers stand in Hillsborough County Superior Court during Adam Montgomery's trial, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP). Jeffrey Hastings

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati speak to the media at Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP)

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati speak to the media at Hillsborough County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Adam Montgomery has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter. Police believe Harmony Montgomery was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. (Jeffrey Hastings/Pool Photo via AP) Jeffrey Hastings

By HOLLY RAMER

Associated Press

Published: 02-23-2024 11:16 AM

CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire man faces up to life in prison after being convicted Thursday of killing his 5-year-old daughter then hiding her body for months before disposing of it.

Adam Montgomery, who did not attend his two-week trial in Manchester, was accused of beating Harmony Montgomery to death in December 2019. She wasn’t reported missing for nearly two years, and her body hasn’t been found.

Here’s what to know about the case:

The parents

Adam Montgomery and Crystal Sorey were not in a relationship when their daughter was born in 2014. Harmony Montgomery lived on and off with foster families and her mother until Sorey lost custody in 2018. Montgomery was awarded custody in early 2019, and Sorey testified she last saw her daughter during a FaceTime call around Easter of that year.

Sorey said her daughter thrived despite being born blind in one eye. She described her as “amazing, rambunctious, very smart.”

The investigation

Sorey eventually went to police, who announced they were looking for the missing child on New Year’s Eve 2021. In early 2022, authorities searched a home where Montgomery had lived and charged him with assault, interference with custody and child endangerment.

By that June, Montgomery also was facing numerous charges related to stolen guns, while his estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, was charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury investigating her stepdaughter’s disappearance.

In August 2022, Attorney General John Formella announced that investigators believed Harmony was dead and that the case was being treated as a homicide.

The charges

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Adam Montgomery was charged in October 2022 with second-degree murder, falsifying evidence and abusing a corpse. About a month later, Kayla Montgomery pleaded guilty to perjury and agreed to cooperate with authorities in their case against her husband.

According to police documents released in June 2023, Kayla Montgomery told investigators that her husband killed Harmony Montgomery on Dec. 7, 2019, while the family lived in their car. Kayla Montgomery said he was driving to a fast food restaurant when he turned around and repeatedly punched Harmony in the face and head because he was angry that she was having bathroom accidents in the car.

She said he then hid the body in the trunk of a car, in a ceiling vent of a homeless shelter and in the walk-in freezer at his workplace before disposing of it in March 2020.

In August 2023, Adam Montgomery was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison on the unrelated gun charges. He asked the judge in that case not to consider his daughter’s murder case when sentencing him.

“I did not kill my daughter Harmony and I look forward to my upcoming trial to refute those offensive claims,” he said.

The trail

Adam Montgomery did not attend his trial, however, and his lawyers called no defense witnesses. As the trial got underway Feb. 8, they acknowledged he was guilty of falsifying evidence and abusing a corpse. But they said he did not kill Harmony and instead suggested the girl actually died Dec. 6 while alone with her stepmother.

Kayla Montgomery, who is serving 18 months in prison for perjury, was the star witness for the prosecution, testifying over multiple days about the child’s death and the months afterward. She said she tried to stop her husband from hitting the girl but was scared of him and that he beat her as well as he grew paranoid that she would go to police.

In addition to second-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and falsifying evidence, jurors also convicted Adam Montgomery of assault and witness tampering.

He faces a sentence of 35 years to life in prison on the most serious charge — second-degree murder — and prosecutors said sentencing will be sometime between late March and the end of May.