Harmony Montgomery’s mother to ask state to declare her daughter legally dead – NECN

Harmony Montgomery’s mother to ask state to declare her daughter legally dead – NECN U.S. NEWS

Crystal Sorey, the mother of Harmony Montgomery, appeared in court Monday to ask the state to declare her daughter legally dead.

The probate hearing started at 9 a.m. in Nashua District Court in front of Judge Beth Kissinger and lasted about 15-20 minutes. The judge did not rule immediately, asking for court paperwork, including the jury’s verdict and a probate surety bond from Sorey, which would guarantee she would fulfill her duties under the law as administrator.

Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, was convicted last month of killing his 5-year-old daughter in 2019 even though her body has never been found. He refused to appear in person or virtually for Monday’s hearing and will instead be submitting a written memo. He also declined to show up at his two-week trial.

Since Harmony’s body was never found, she has never been declared dead.

Adam Montgomery has been found guilty on all charges, including the murder of his 5-year-old daughter Harmony Montgomery. The verdict marks the end of a long chapter in the gruesome crime. Prosecutors say Adam killed Harmony in 2019 for having several bathroom accidents in the car that the family had been living in and then hid her body. Harmony’s body has never been found. Adam faces up to life in prison. His sentencing hearing is set for this spring.

Sorey’s lawyer argued in court Monday that Harmony should be declared dead because her father has been convicted of her murder and he also admitted that he abused her corpse.

Also at Monday’s hearing, Sorey asked the court to name her as the head of her daughter’s estate. Right now both she and Adam Montgomery are listed as Harmony’s heirs.

Sorey told the court that she wants Harmony to be declared legally dead so she can file a wrongful death lawsuit on her daughter’s behalf.

Adam Montgomery and Sorey were not in a relationship when their daughter was born in 2014. Harmony Montgomery lived on and off with foster families and her mother until Sorey lost custody in 2018. Montgomery was awarded custody in early 2019, and Sorey testified she last saw her daughter during a FaceTime call around Easter of that year.

Sorey eventually went to police, who announced they were looking for the missing child on New Year’s Eve 2021. In early 2022, authorities searched a home in Manchester where Montgomery had lived and charged him with assault, interference with custody and child endangerment.

By that June, Montgomery also was facing numerous charges related to stolen guns, while his estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, was charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury investigating her stepdaughter’s disappearance. She has been serving an 18-month sentence and is expected to be paroled in May.

In August 2022, Attorney General John Formella announced that investigators believed Harmony was dead and that the case was being treated as a homicide.

Harmony Montgomery’s case has exposed weaknesses in child protection systems and prompted calls to prioritize the well-being of children over parents in custody matters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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