The search for a missing New Hampshire seven-year-old girl is about to stretch into its third month. No one’s seen Harmony Montgomery in more than two years. She was last seen in October of 2019 and police have been searching since the start of 2022.
“Somebody out there has seen this child,” said the New Hampshire DCYF Director, Joe Ribsam.
Her case has gained national attention as many people wonder why it took so long for her to be reported missing. Her mother, Crystal Sorey of Massachusetts, did not report Harmony missing until this past December 31st.
According to court documents, Sorey lost custody of her daughter in 2018 due to substance issues. Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, received full custody but now he’s in jail accused of abusing his daughter.
According to those court documents, Adam allegedly told his brother quote: “I bashed her around the house.”
Adam is accused of giving Harmony black eyes as well as forcing her to “stand in the corner for hours and scrub the toilets with a toothbrush.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that at least 1 in 7 children in the United States has experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year.
Stacey Pearson, a New England-based child safety advocate, said there are signs to look for when determining if a child is in danger of abuse or neglect.
“Through communicating and getting to know the child,” said Pearson, was one way to “find out what’s going on in their life.” She added, “unexplained bruises or cuts or burns or broken bones” should draw our attention and lead us to investigate further.
Pearson said the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of challenges, including how teachers check in on their students.
However, she added that virtual learning still affords teachers – mandated reporters – a means to “see if the child’s hygiene is failing” or if their students were in “a safe environment at home.”
For crisis intervention, information, referrals, and support contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
The State Department of Children Youth and Families is reviewing what happened with Harmony’s case and more details are expected to be released.
In the meantime, police say hundreds of tips have come in in regards to Harmony and if you have any information about Harmony Montgomery, please contact the Manchester New Hampshire Police at 603-203-6060.