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Harmony Montgomery’s mother says her calls were ignored


“By the time the detectives came I probably had about 16 emails [full] information for them already…because I had already been looking for it for a year and a half.

Crystal Renee Sorey, mother of Harmony Montgomery, was at Bass Island Park in Manchester with her family and friends to put up flyers and hold a candlelight vigil on January 8. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

The mother of Harmony Montgomery, the New Hampshire daughter last seen aged 5 in 2019, says her pleas and pleas to authorities and the state child protection agency State to help him locate his daughter fell on deaf ears for months.

Crystal Sorey said The Boston Globe his pleas appeared to gain traction after he penned a desperate email to Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig on December 29.

Harmony, who is blind in one eye, had been missing for months, Sorey wrote in her post. The girl was supposed to be in the care of her father, Adam Montgomery, but she no longer attended doctor’s appointments.

The state’s Division of Children, Youth and Families had done “nothing” to help Sorey, she wrote.

“Please,” Sorey wrote to Craig. “I ask for help in finding my daughter.”

The email follows months of attempts to get authorities to help find her missing daughter, the newspaper reports.

“It baffles me that we’re here right now,” said Sorey, 31, who said he lost custody of Harmony in 2018 in part because of substance abuse issues. World recently. Sorey also has a criminal record.

“Because nobody wanted to listen to me because of my past. … I’m still a person, my daughter is still a person,” Sorey added. “She’s somebody.”

Harmony Montgomery’s mother says her calls were ignored
Manchester Police provided this photo of Harmony Montgomery.

Court filings against Adam – now charged with assaulting his daughter – say Sorey first called Manchester police in November.

Police contacted DCYF and received addresses associated with Adam, according to the affidavit. Officers checked those addresses without success, however, according to the documents.

The documents also show that DCYF told authorities on Dec. 27, more than a month after Sorey’s phone call to police, that the division was unable to locate Harmony.

That’s when police opened a formal investigation into the missing child, records show. The department issued its first public appeal for tips in the case on Dec. 31.

Sorey and another parent who spoke to the World to allege that authorities only began to take the matter seriously after Sorey’s email to the mayor. Sorey also threatened to take the story to the media, if his pleas were ignored.

In the weeks that followed, police arrested Adam and his wife, Kayla Montgomery. The latter is accused of having defrauded the State of more than 1,500 dollars in social benefits intended for Harmony.

Manchester Police spokeswoman Heather Hamel told the World the department “immediately” contacted DCYF after Sorey’s Nov. 18 call.

However, the newspaper reported that the department did not provide details of its search for Adam’s previous addresses, such as the number of residence hall officers searched. The department also declined to provide a timeline for its work on the case between Nov. 18 and Dec. 29, according to the outlet.

DCYF declined to comment on the matter due to confidentiality rules, the World reported.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg defended his department’s work on the case.

“I understand that this narrative wants to get out there — that the public, the family maybe, whoever it is, is looking to blame someone,” Aldenberg said. “And I think it’s a natural reaction when it comes to things like that. I’m just not going to do it now.

On the same day, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told his own press conference that he had ordered the DCYF to conduct an internal review of its handling of Harmony’s case.

However, the process is standard in “critical” cases involving children and he is confident the DCYF has remained on top of it, he said.

“As soon as we found out that this child may not have been in school for a while, it was brought to our attention, the team took care of it,” the governor said. “There was no delay. It didn’t sit in a folder on someone’s desk. They moved directly on it, which I attribute to them.

Sorey said in an interview with the World she started looking for her daughter in 2019 after Adam and Kayla stopped her from contacting them.

She went in and out of sober homes and shelters after losing her custody, but reports filed in court say Sorey has since been sober.

Sorey told the newspaper that she had called schools in New Hampshire where she thought Harmony might be a student, that she had used paid internet search tools to gather addresses related to Adam, and that she had tried several times to contact the DCYF before contacting Manchester Police.

“I didn’t just sit down and say, ‘Oh, they took my daughter, I’m just gonna get high, man,'” she said. “By the time the detectives came I probably had about 16 emails [full] information for them already…because I had already been looking for it for a year and a half.

A Boston 25 News report earlier this week revealed that authorities received 13 calls for service over a five-month period in 2019 at the Manchester home where Harmony was last seen.

On August 5 of that year, a neighbor called concerned “about a young child living at this address”, adding that there was “no electricity, just a small generator and there is has garbage everywhere”.

DCYF has been contacted to verify conditions and officials have determined, “Everyone is home, generator is running, food in the house, they are healthy. All is well,” according to a police report.


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