MANCHESTER, N.H. — Authorities on Thursday announced a second arrest in connection with the 2019 disappearance of 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery, according to WFXT-TV.
Authorities arrested Kayla Montgomery, 31, on Wednesday to face a charge of welfare fraud, officials said. Investigators allege that Montgomery obtained $1,500 in food stamp benefits between December 2019 and June 2021 by failing to remove Harmony from her family account with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Family Assistance, despite the fact that Harmony was no longer living with her or her husband, Adam Montgomery.
In a news release, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office noted that Kayla Montgomery is not Harmony’s biological mother.
Her arrest came one day after authorities arrested Harmony’s father, 31-year-old Adam Montgomery. He was charged with second-degree assault related to “2019 conduct against Harmony,” officials said. He also faces charges of interference with custody and endangering the welfare of a child.
Officials continue to search for Harmony, who was not reported missing until last week.
Harmony was last seen Oct. 1, 2019, when she was 5 years old. She is described as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl weighing 50 pounds and standing about 4 feet tall. She is blind in one eye and should be wearing glasses, according to police.
Harmony was placed in her father’s care in February 2019 after spending much of her life between her mother’s care and the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, WFXT reported. The news station noted that Adam Montgomery has “a lengthy criminal record in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.”
Manchester police said Wednesday that a $60,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Harmony’s whereabouts. In a statement, authorities thanked people who have contributed to the fund and others who are assisting in the search for the 7-year-old.
“An innocent child is unaccounted for and we are working tirelessly to get the answers needed to locate her,” police said.
©2022 Cox Media Group