Harmony Montgomery

NH Gov. Places Blame for Harmony Montgomery's Disappearance on Mass. Court System

"Why would the Massachusetts court choose to place custody of Harmony with this horrible individual?" Gov. Chris Sununu said of the girl's father. "What caused such a fateful decision?"

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New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu placed the blame for the disappearance of 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery squarely at the feet of the Massachusetts court system in a letter released Tuesday.

In the letter, which was sent to Kimberly Budd, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Sununu expressed "grave concerns" about the ongoing investigation into the missing girl.



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He cited a February 2019 decision by a judge in Lawrence that "abruptly" gave sole custody of Harmony to her father while the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families was in the middle of conducting a home study of Adam Montgomery and his then-wife Kayla Montgomery.

The disappearance of Harmony Montgomery, a young New Hampshire girl last seen in 2019, remains under investigation.

"It is unclear why the Massachusetts courts moved so quickly with this permanent placement prior to the completion of the home study," Sununu said. "Why would the Massachusetts court choose to place custody of Harmony with this horrible individual? What caused such a fateful decision?"

"Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd received the letter from Governor Sununu this afternoon," Jennifer Donahue, a spokesperson for the Bay State's court system, said in a statement to NBC10 Boston. "The Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate has opened an investigation into this tragic situation. The Massachusetts Trial Court is cooperating fully with that investigation and will cooperate with other investigations as authorized by law."

A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services said the state's Office of the Child Advocate is reviewing the case. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families is also cooperating with New Hampshire officials in the ongoing investigation.

In his letter, Sununu refers to Adam Montgomery as "a monstrous drug dealer" with previous convictions for shooting someone in the head and for a separate armed attack on two women in Massachusetts. He said Harmony's family "was troubled, transient and originally engaged with the Massachusetts child protection system."

Read the full letter below:

"As a result of your judge's decision, New Hampshire officials were not afforded the ability to monitor Harmony's safety," Sununu said. "Had the court required that an Interstate Compact home study be completed, there would have been more checks in the system to help ensure Harmony's safety when she was moved to New Hampshire such as continued oversight on the family. More critically, had New Hampshire had this in place when responding and investigating the alleged incident of abuse in December of 2019, the result would likely have been very different for Harmony."

Sununu closed his letter by asking to review the Lawrence judge's determination and all events leading to the decision to award sole custody of Harmony to her father.

The judge is not named in Sununu's letter.

The disappearance of Harmony Montgomery, who was not reported missing for two years, remains under investigation.

"No child should ever leave Massachusetts in the custody of a dangerous criminal like Adam Montgomery," the governor added. "As neighboring states, we owe it to our residents, especially our vulnerable children, that we are working together to protect the best interests of our most vulnerable citizens. We must ensure that moving forward at-risk children of our states are protected and adequately monitored."

"You owe it to Harmony Montgomery, her loved ones, and the public to fully cooperate in handing over the imperative information on this case that could help provide answers and assist with our search. We hope you can agree time is of the essence and give this matter the urgency that is required."

Harmony Montgomery vanished in 2019 at age 5, but was not reported missing until late last year.

Harmony's father and stepmother have been arrested on charges related to her well-being.

Adam Montgomery, 31, was charged with counts including failing to have Harmony in his custody. Kayla Montgomery, 31, was charged with welfare fraud on suspicion of obtaining $1,500 in food stamps from December 2019 to June 2021 for Harmony at a time when the girl was not living with Kayla and Adam.

The two have pleaded not guilty.

Police are still requesting help from the public in locating Harmony. Anyone with information can call (603) 203-6060. Manchester police said they have received nearly 500 tips and a reward for information that helps find Harmony has grown to $137,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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