Kayla Montgomery, 31, of Manchester, was charged with social fraud for receiving $ 1,500 grocery stamps for Harmony Montgomery from December 2019 to June 2021, even though the girl did not live with Kayla and her husband Adam Montgomery.
Kayla Montgomery pleaded not guilty in the Hillsborough County Superior Court. Her lawyer requested that she be released on her own. The judge approved a prosecutor’s request for $ 5,000 bail and ruled that Montgomery, who has a criminal record for misdemeanors, must check in person with the Manchester Police Department on a daily basis.
Adam Montgomery, 31, was charged Wednesday on several counts, including failure to have Harmony in his care. His lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf. He was detained without bail.
In an interview with police on New Year’s Eve, Kayla Montgomery – who shares three children, ages 4, 2, and 1 with her husband – said she last saw Harmony in November or December 2019. She said her husband was driving Harmony to see the child’s mother in Massachusetts. She said she believed Harmony had been returned to the mother and had never seen or heard from Harmony after that day, according to the police document.
Kayla Montgomery also told police she hadn’t seen Adam since October and hadn’t spoken to him since November.
A “change report” filed by Kayla Montgomery on food stamps on February 25, 2019 – three days after her husband received custody of Harmony – stated that Harmony “currently lives with us full-time. She is 4 years old and permanently blind in one eye, that is how she was born, “says a police document.
From January 2021, further papers for food stamps showed that their household consisted of two married adults and four children, “three together and all claimed as taxable persons”. Harmony lived there because (she) goes to see her mother every other weekend, “the document says.
In June this year, an account changes report found that case management for Harmony had been closed, noting that “the client said she had moved back to live with her mother and removed her from her case,” the document reads.
Manchester Police launched a 24-hour hotline this week and offered $ 60,000 in rewards to help find Harmony Montgomery. They said they worked with the state Department of Children, Youth and Family and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to find them.
“An innocent child is missing and we are working tirelessly to get the answers we need to find it,” police said in a press release about the increased donations being offered by local businesses.
Governor Chris Sununu also asked for help finding Harmony during his weekly press conference on COVID-19 updates.
“We have to get her home safely,” he said.
Harmony’s mother called the Manchester police in November to say she hadn’t seen her daughter in a while. She originally told officers she hadn’t seen her in over six months, but then said it had been since Easter 2019 when she was talking on video with the father and Harmony, according to a police statement.
Police said Adam Montgomery was arrested Tuesday for second degree assault, as well as interference with custody and endangering children. Police accused him of “deliberately violating a duty of care, protection or assistance” by not knowing where she had been since late 2019 – the last reported sighting of Harmony.
In an interview with police, Harmony’s great-uncle told officers he saw her with a black eye in July 2019. He said Montgomery told him he hit her after seeing his daughter put her hand over her younger brother’s mouth to keep him from crying, police records said.
The family member said he had notified the state child protection service.
Montgomery’s brother also told police he was concerned he was “super small” with the child.