New Hampshire man sentenced to minimum 56 years on murder, other charges in young daughter’s death

Adam Montgomery listens during his sentencing hearing at Hillsborough Superior Court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Manchester N.H. Montgomery was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier in the year in the death of his 5-year-old daughter, Harmony, who police believe was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021 and whose body was never found. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

Adam Montgomery listens during his sentencing hearing at Hillsborough Superior Court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Manchester N.H. Montgomery was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier in the year in the death of his 5-year-old daughter, Harmony, who police believe was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021 and whose body was never found. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool) Charles Krupa

By KATHY McCORMACK

Associated Press

Published: 05-09-2024 5:06 PM

Modified: 05-09-2024 7:03 PM


CONCORD — A New Hampshire man convicted of killing his 5-year-old daughter and moving her corpse around for months before disposing of it was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 56 years in prison on murder and other changes.

That sentence will be added on to the minimum 32½-year sentence Adam Montgomery, 34, began last year on unrelated gun charges, making it unlikely that he will ever get out of prison following his actions in the death of Harmony Montgomery. Police believe she was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021. Her body was never found.

Montgomery did not attend the trial in February. He was ordered by the judge to be in court Thursday after his lawyer asked for him to be excused, saying Montgomery has maintained his innocence on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree assault and witness tampering. He had admitted to abuse of a corpse and falsifying evidence.

His estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, had testified that her family, including her two young sons with Adam Montgomery, had been evicted right before Thanksgiving in 2019 and were living in a car. She said on Dec. 7, Adam Montgomery punched Harmony Montgomery at several stop lights as they drove from a methadone clinic to a fast food restaurant because he was angry that the child was having bathroom accidents in the car.

After that, she said she handed food to the children in the car without checking on Harmony Montgomery and that the couple later discovered she was dead after the car broke down. She testified that her husband put the body in a duffel bag. She described various places where the girl’s body was hidden, including the trunk of a car, a cooler, a homeless center ceiling vent and the walk-in freezer at her husband’s workplace.

During Adam Montgomery’s trial, his lawyers suggested that Kayla continued to lie to protect herself. They said their client did not kill Harmony, and that Kayla Montgomery was the last person to see the child alive.

Kayla Montgomery testified that she didn’t come forward about the child’s death because she was afraid of her husband. She said Adam Montgomery suspected that she might go to the police, so he began punching her, giving her black eyes, she said. She eventually ran away from him in March 2021.

Kayla Montgomery was recently granted parole. She is expected to be released from prison soon after serving an 18-month sentence. She pleaded guilty to perjury charges related to the investigation into the child’s disappearance and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

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Adam Montgomery had custody of the girl. Her mother, Crystal Sorey, who was no longer in a relationship with him, said the last time she saw Harmony Montgomery was during a video call in April 2019. She eventually went to police, who announced they were looking for the missing child on New Year’s Eve 2021.

Harmony Montgomery’s case has exposed weaknesses in child protection systems and provoked calls to prioritize the well-being of children over parents in custody matters. Harmony was moved between the homes of her mother and her foster parents multiple times before Adam Montgomery received custody in 2019 and moved to New Hampshire.

Authorities plan to keep searching for the girl’s remains, believed to be along a route Adam Montgomery drove in a rental truck into Massachusetts in March 2020.