Stepmother of murdered Harmony Montgomery declared a fugitive after failing to appear in court

The stepmother of Harmony Montgomery – the long-missing New Hampshire girl believed to have been murdered – has been declared a fugitive after skipping a court hearing on Thursday.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Kayla Montgomery, 32, after she failed to show up for her scheduled court date in Manchester.

She was due to appear amid allegations that she lied to state officials about having 5-year-old Harmony in her care when she didn’t.

Mug shot of Kayla Montgomery
An arrest warrant was issued for Kayla Montgomery after she failed to appear in court.
AP
Harmony Montgomery was last seen in 2019. Her body was not found.
Harmony Montgomery was last seen in 2019. Her body was not found.
Manchester NH Police

She was charged with welfare fraud in January for allegedly collecting $1,500 worth of food stamps in Harmony’s name between December 2019 and June 2021 – despite the girl not living with her during that time.

“My expectation is that in the end she will either turn herself in or be arrested on the warrant,” her defense attorney, Paul Garrity, told WMUR. “The court will then set bail, and hopefully that bail will be set that will allow Kayla to stay free. If not, we will proceed with the case.”

Kayla Montgomery in an orange jumpsuit and cuffs in court
Kayla Montgomery is the stepmother of missing girl Harmony Montgomery.
AP

Little Harmony was last seen in 2019, but police only learned she was missing in January 2022, when the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families alerted them that the child was missing.

She was officially declared murdered last month. Attorney General John Formella said little Harmony was killed around the time of her disappearance in Manchester in December 2019, when she was 5 years old

Her body was not found.

Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, has been in jail since January on various charges, including one that he allegedly punched the girl in the face in July 2019. He pleads not guilty.

The couple had previously told investigators that Harmony went to live with her mother in Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019. However, Harmony’s mother, Crystal Renee Sorey, said she last saw the girl during a video phone call around Easter of that year.

FBI agents searching for the girl in June confiscated a large refrigerator from the apartment where she once lived with her father and stepmother.

The attorney general’s office said Kayla Montgomery was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by police on Aug. 11 for an apparent drug transaction.

Missing report mail for Harmony Montgomery
Police said Harmony Montgomery was murdered in August.
AP

On August 22, she was found in a Queen City hotel by police who, according to court documents, learned that she and another person were selling drugs from a room there.

Days later, on August 24, she was a passenger in a car where a search found drug paraphernalia, officials said. She was not arrested during those encounters, officials said.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/08/stepmom-of-murdered-harmony-montgomery-declared-fugitive-after-missing-court-appearance/ Stepmother of murdered Harmony Montgomery declared a fugitive after failing to appear in court

JACLYN DIAZ

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