Police in Manchester, New Hampshire continue to make progress in the investigation into the disappearance of Harmony Montgomery.
Sadly, the most important progress has yet to be made, as cops still do not know the whereabouts of the now-7-year-old girl. As you’ll recall from our previous reporting on this case, Harmony was 5 years old in late 2019 when she was last confirmed to have been seen publicly. But this week, a new development occurred.
On Tuesday, law enforcement officers in the state charged Kayla Montgomery (pictured above, center) with several crimes, including one felony count of theft by deception and two misdemeanor counts of welfare fraud. Kayla, who is Harmony’s stepmother, was previously charged with engaging in an impermissible welfare scheme after being accused of stealing benefits meant for Harmony for months after the girl had first gone missing.
Now, the 31-year-old stepmother is facing these additional charges, too. According to a probable cause statement first obtained by People, Kayla is the being accused of being the mastermind of an 18-month-long scheme in which she fraudulently claimed Harmony to be a member of her household when the little girl was not. Furthermore, Kayla is also being accused of making intentional false statements that Harmony was living in her home during that time in order to claim the girl’s welfare benefits even though she was not at that location.
The probable cause statement alleges (below):
“[Kayle] engaged in a scheme or course of conduct to steal benefits in excess of $1,500 by representing to [New Hampshire state Department of Health and Human Services] on various occasions that [Harmony] was in Kayla’s household despite Kayla admitting that [Harmony] was not a member of her household during that time period, resulting in the receipt of in excess of $1,500 in benefits for [Harmony] to which Kayla was not entitled.”
Wow. Just despicable on so many levels, made all the worse by the fact that the cops still don’t know where Harmony is right now.
Kayla’s next court hearing has been scheduled for Thursday. Per the outlet, her lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Of course, as we’ve been reporting, Harmony’s biological father Adam Montgomery (pictured in a mugshot, above left) has already been arrested on child abuse allegations after police investigated a previous 2019 incident that allegedly occurred involving the little girl. Adam was charged last week with single counts of felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor interference with custody after police determined he allegedly admitted to family members that he’d “bashed [Harmony] around” prior to her disappearance.
One of Harmony’s relatives, a great-uncle named Kevin Montgomery, has since revealed publicly that the little girl “looked like a scared puppy” the last time he saw her after she’d witnessed a family dispute in 2019. After the dispute, Kevin claimed in an interview with The Daily Beast, Adam blocked most of his family from any contact with the little girl.
Still, police are continuing their search for Harmony, who is pictured above. She is described as standing 4 feet tall and weighing roughly 50 pounds. She is legally blind in her right eye, and she wears glasses.
We continue to pray for Harmony. So sad…
[Image via Manchester Police Department]