Horrifying details of Harmony Montgomery’s death, and the aftermath, revealed in court document

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A memorial for Harmony Montgomery, whose body has not been found since her death in 2019 at the hands of her father, Adam Montgomery. File Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Publisher’s Note: The following story contains details that are difficult to read or comprehend, including a graphic description of corpse abuse. We are publishing this information for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we as a community must be vigilant in preventing the abuse, suffering or death of any child. To do so we must fully understand what went wrong in the life of Harmony Montgomery. If you are so moved, consider contributing to a local organization that advocates for and protects children such as CASA NH or WaytpointNH. – Carol Robidoux, publisher, Manchester Ink Link

MANCHESTER, NH – When 5-year-old Harmony Montgomery soiled her pants in the family car on Dec. 7, 2019, Adam Montgomery, who was driving, turned around and repeatedly punched the child in the face, according to a court document released Tuesday.

“I think I really hurt her this time. I think I did something,” Kayla Montgomery told police Adam said, after the final blow. 

The details of how a little girl died, allegedly at the hands of her father who for months hid her remains in an ice cooler, an apartment ceiling, a commercial freezer and an apartment refrigerator/freezer, are contained in the 48-page probable cause statement of Manchester Police Det. John Dunleavy.  The document, on file in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District, was released Tuesday after WMUR-TV filed a lawsuit requesting it be unsealed.

According to the court document, Harmony died on Dec. 7, 2019.  At the time, the Montgomery family, consisting of Adam, Kayla, Harmony and the Montgomerys’ two young sons were living out of their Chrysler Sebring after being evicted on Nov. 27, 2019, from their 77 Gilford St. home. 

That December morning, they were on their way to Burger King on the Daniel Webster Highway when Adam Montgomery, who was driving, turned around and allegedly punched Harmony in the face in a series of three to four blows.  Kayla told investigators Adam struck the child on three occasions, always after she had a bathroom accident in the car.

On Dec. 7, 2019, Adam struck his daughter for the last time.  Harmony began making a moaning type noise which went on for about five minutes and then stopped, Kayla said.

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Adam Montgomery sits with his lawyers on the first day of his trial on weapons charges at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester on June 1, 2023. File Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

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Kayla Montgomery as she appeared in court on June 5, 2023. File Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

No one checked on the little girl after she was battered.  Instead, Montgomery drove back to Colonial Village, where they had taken up residence in their car in the parking lot.  Kayla and Adam then did some drugs they allegedly obtained from Anthony Bodero, their friend at the apartment complex.  Kayla said they stayed there for 20 minutes, during which no one checked on Harmony or sought medical care for her.

They drove away from the apartment complex but a short distance away, at the intersection of Elm and Webster streets, the car broke down. It was about 12:10 p.m., the time they noticed Harmony was dead.

Adam opened the trunk of the car, emptied an Under Armour bag and put the lifeless body of his daughter into it.  He walked back to the parking lot at Colonial Village, carrying the bag.  Bodero drove them back to the intersection to get their property from the car which was ultimately abandoned.

He then let them stay in his Audi in the rear of his apartment at 21 W. River Drive for a couple of days over the weekend.  Kayla told investigators Adam kept Harmony’s body in the trunk but sometimes would put the bag outside on the snow to stop the decomposition of the body.

Over the next several months, the Montgomerys moved from place to place, taking Harmony’s body with them.  After staying in the Audi, they moved in with Kayla’s mother, Christina Lubin, 53, of 258 Dubuque St., #1.  When they arrived, Harmony’s body was still in the duffle bag but was then placed in a red cooler with a white top which was kept in the common hallway.

The body was kept there the whole time the family stayed there until the end of December 2019.  Lubin testified before the Grand Jury that Kayla said Harmony had gone back to live with her mother who was in rehab in Massachusetts.

On Dec. 30, 2019, the family moved into a Families in Transition apartment at 177 Lake Ave., #1.  The Under Armour bag with Harmony’s body was brought to the apartment as well and Adam placed it in the ceiling vent in the bedroom.

“Kayla said during this time, there was liquid coming from the bag containing Harmony’s dead body, and there was an odor,” Dunleavy wrote.  “She said Adam placed a trash bag around the bag to keep it from leaking.”

When tenants in the apartment building began complaining about a smell coming from the Montgomery’s apartment, Kayla told detectives Adam took the Under Armour bag out of the vent, wrapped it in another garbage bag and put it back in the ceiling.

Before maintenance came to check the vent, Adam took the bag down again and placed it in the closet.   When maintenance checked the vent, they said it must have been a dead animal because they didn’t see anything up there.

On June 4, 2022, detectives searched the apartment and removed a large section of the ceiling sheetrock that was stained.  Adam Montgomery’s fingerprints allegedly were found on it.  Forensic DNA analyst Alan Ackroyd-Isales of DNA Labs International determined a sample from the sheetrock contained Harmony’s DNA.

On Feb. 20, 2020, the family moved to 644 Union St., second floor, Apt. 2, and, once again, brought Harmony’s body with them.  Adam put the bag containing Harmony’s body into a plastic storage bin, put it on a stroller and then walked it to the Union Street apartment where he stored it in a closet.  At one point, the Under Armour bag was leaking and Adam wrapped it in another garbage bag and put it in the refrigerator.

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Portland Pie Co. on the corner of Elm and Merrimack streets was abruptly closed March 1, 2020. Kayla Montgomery said Harmony Montgomery’s body was stored in a walk-in cooler at that location for at least a week. File Photo/Winter Trabex

Kayla told investigators that one day, Adam spent four to six hours in the bathroom with the shower running.  Then he placed Harmony’s body in a much smaller Catholic Medical Center maternity bag.  The bag, Dunleavy wrote, was much smaller than the Under Armour bag and Harmony’s body would not have fit unless it was dismembered or “grossly distorted.”

Another time, when she spoke to police, Kayla said Adam actually transferred Harmony’s body to the maternity bag while they were living on Lake Avenue. It took place a day or two after the maintenance man inspected the vent, she said.

Kayla said she took the maternity bag to the Portland Pie Co., where Adam worked as a dishwasher and cook from Jan. 14 to Feb. 22, 2020.  The bag was placed in the walk-in cooler and remained there for a week or so until the family moved into the Union Street apartment.

Kayla said she was present when Adam removed Harmony’s body from the maternity bag in the bathroom at the Union Street apartment so he could add lime to it to help with the decomposition.

“Kayla explained Adam dumped Harmony’s body out of the CMC maternity bag into the shower. Kayla said Harmony wasn’t bones; she had skin, teeth and hair, and Kayla could still tell it was her,” Dunleavy wrote.

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A “missing child” sign is posted on Union Street near the house where Harmony Montgomery’s body had been hidden for a time. File Photo/Carol Robidoux

Harmony’s body was frozen and Adam had a difficult time fitting it into the maternity bag.  Adam ran hot water in the shower and “tried ‘squishing’ Harmony’s flesh to thaw it out and make it easier to fit her into the bag. Kayla helped cut Harmony’s clothes off of her body to make her fit into the bag better as well.  Kayla described Adam eventually pushing and pushing on Harmony’s body, and then she heard a bang; she was not able to elaborate on what this bang was.  Adam also banged the CMC maternity bag on the floor while zipping it.  Kayla said that she also helped zip close the CMC maternity bag.”  After, the bag went into the apartment freezer and Adam cleaned up the bathroom with ammonia.

On March 3, 2020, Brendon Middleton, 27, rented a U-Haul van for Adam’s friends, Travis Beach and Britney Bedard who told him they needed it to move furniture.  Investigators recovered a Facebook conversation on March 3-4, 2020, between Adam and Beach, concerning Beach renting a U-Haul.  Beach said he gave Adam the keys to it when Adam was staying at the EconoLodge.

Kayla told investigators that after the U-Haul was rented, Adam left the hotel with the CMC maternity bag containing Harmony’s body about midnight or 1 a.m.  She said he returned that same morning about 5 or 6 a.m.  When he returned, Kayla said he seemed tired and he said words to the effect, “It’s done.”  She never saw the CMC maternity bag again.

Dunleavy obtained information concerning the U-Haul van from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.   The van incurred three toll violations on March 4, 2020, at 4:44 a.m., 4:45 a.m. and 5:25 a.m., heading north, south, then north, respectively on the Tobin Bridge.  They also obtained photographs of the van but the person driving it was blacked out for privacy reasons.

Investigators have obtained swabs from the van, which was sold to a father/son in Pennsylvania, but are awaiting test results.

Authorities were unaware Harmony was missing until her mother, Crystal Sorey, told police in late 2021 that she hadn’t seen her in months.  At that point, Harmony had been dead for more than two years.

Harmony’s body has yet to be found.

The 54-page probable cause statement is below.


About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.