Kayla Montgomery arrested on warrant after missed court appearance

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MANCHESTER, NH – Kayla Montgomery was arrested Friday afternoon at a city residence after a warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to appear Thursday at a court hearing.

Kayla Montgomery/MPD

Attorney General John M. Formella and Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said she would be held in jail until a hearing is scheduled, expected sometime next week in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District.

Judge Amy Messer issued a capias (an arrest warrant) when Montgomery, 32, didn’t show up for a dispositional hearing on theft charges related to her receiving food stamps for her stepdaughter, Harmony, at a time when the child was missing.

Harmony, 5, was declared dead in August, ending an eight-month-long search for her by law enforcement, including the FBI. She had been missing for more than 2 ½ years – since late November early December 2019 although authorities weren’t aware of that until two years later in 2021.

Messer approved the state’s request for Montgomery’s arrest after 40 minutes had passed from the time Thursday’s hearing was to begin – 10 a.m. – and Montgomery still hadn’t appeared in court.

Montgomery is facing charges in three separate cases. The court had scheduled a dispositional hearing Thursday in connection with the case charging her with theft for receiving $2,400 worth of food stamps for Harmony at a time she had disappeared and wasn’t living with her.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill asked the judge to issue the arrest warrant citing the motion he filed last week calling into question whether Montgomery was in compliance with her bail conditions.

Montgomery, when released on personal recognizance bail, was ordered not to use drugs and to participate in a drug treatment program.

The state is calling into question whether she is in compliance with those conditions, after police had contact with her in three incidents in August where drugs were seized. She was not charged in any of those incidents.

O’Neill, in the Aug. 29 motion filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District, asked the court to order Montgomery to provide proof she is in
compliance with the bail orders.

The charges and allegations against Ms. Montgomery in her underlying cases are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.