On Dec. 29, New Hampshire authorities were just days away from officially announcing that 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery, who had not been physically seen for two years, was missing.
But the family’s frustration was mounting.
“I am a single mother of 3 i currently only have 2 of my kids,” an email apparently authored by Crystal Sorey and obtained by The Daily Beast via a records request reads. “My oldest daughter Harmony shes [sic] 7 years old.”
The blistering email—whose author is redacted—goes on to slam the state’s Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), stating that even though they have an “open case” into Harmony, they did not remove her from the custody of Adam Montgomery, her father, even after they “witnessesed her bruises & the house at he time had no running water.”
“[N]ow its a year later & dcyf has done NOTHING to help me find her,” the email continued. “Shes supposed to be in 1st grade [Adam] NEVER enrolled her into school this whole time. Shes missed important doctors appointments shes had since a baby due to her disability in her eye.”
Before signing off the email, the author added, “My next step is going the media to get whatever help i need to find her & bring her home safe!”
Sorey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The email, which a spokesperson for the mayor’s office previously told The Daily Beast was forwarded to the Manchester Police Department, was sent just two days before authorities put out a “missing child” alert for Harmony.
Within days of the alert, the investigation garnered national attention, FBI assistance, and the arrest of Harmony’s father and stepmother on allegations of abuse and welfare fraud, respectively. Neither has been charged directly in connection with the child’s disappearance. On Monday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office said the police concluded a “multi-day” search of the home where Harmony was last seen—but that since it’s an ongoing investigation, “no additional information will be released at this time.”
A spokesperson for DCYF did not immediately respond for comment on Monday. Last week, however, the agency told The Daily Beast that “state and federal law requires us to protect the confidentiality of children and families served by and individuals engaged with the Division for Children, Youth, and Families.” A police spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Adam Montgomery, 31, was arrested last week on charges including felony second-degree assault in connection with 2019 conduct against his daughter. His wife, 31-year-old Kayla, was arrested for the welfare fraud scheme in which she allegedly obtained more than $1,500 in food-stamp benefits on Harmony’s behalf even after she was missing.
Despite the movement in the case, authorities have yet to find the 7-year-old girl or charge anyone over her disappearance. Police have insisted that the investigation is still a missing persons matter until they have evidence to indicate otherwise.
The Dec. 29 email mirrors allegations Crystal Sorey made at a Saturday vigil for Harmony in Manchester. Speaking with NBC, she said that she had been concerned about Harmony’s well-being since the child was placed in her father’s custody in 2019.
Sorey later told police she last saw her daughter via Facetime in April 2019—before Adam Montgomery allegedly blocked all contact.
"I've been begging for any type of answer since 2019," Sorey said, adding that she has called New Hampshire schools, driven by old addresses associated with Harmony’s father, and even called DCYF multiple times trying to locate her daughter.
“My daughter was failed by everybody,” she added.
According to Adam Montgomery’s arrest affidavit, Sorey called the Manchester Police Department on Nov. 18, reporting that her daughter “was missing and that she hadn’t seen [her] in over six months.”
The call prompted a police employee to contact the Division for Children, Youth and Families in New Hampshire (DCYF).
On Dec. 27, two days before the email was sent, DCYF notified police they were unable to locate Harmony, prompting officials to open an investigation into the 7-year-old. They soon learned from family members that she “had not been physically seen since October/November 2019,” the affidavit states.
That same day, the affidavit states, “members of the Manchester Police Department actively made attempts to track down Adam and talk to involved family members to establish the last time [Harmony] was physically observed, and known to be safe.”
“Officers and investigators were initially unable to make contact with Adam via phone,” the affidavit added.
In response to the Dec. 29 email sent the same day, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office wrote, “Unfortunately, the City doesn't have jurisdiction over DCYF or the court system” and encouraged the mother to reach out to police if she believed Harmony was in “immediate danger of physical harm.”
“If you have already attempted to do these things but have not heard back, please let me know and I will check on the status of your case for you,” the spokesperson added.
A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office declined to respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment and directed all questions to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office “since they’re leading the investigation” into Harmony’s disappearance. The AG’s office did not immediately respond for comment.
The affidavit for Adam Montgomery’s arrest notes that authorities were actively investigating Harmony’s case by the time the email was sent. On Dec. 30, investigators spoke to Adam’s brother, Michael, who they said raised concerns about the child.
“Michael recalled during his last physical contact with [Harmony] and Adam, he had concerns that Adam was physically abusive towards [Harmony],” the affidavit states. “Michael recalled Adam was ‘super short’ with the child, and he learned through other family members that Adam had given [Harmony] a black eye.”
The affidavit also states that Adam Montgomery admitted he inflicted a black eye on the child to his uncle, Kevin, in July 2019. “I bashed her around the house,” Montgomery allegedly told Kevin Montgomery.
Kevin Montgomery also previously described witnessing the aftermath of abuse—including a black eye—to The Daily Beast, noting that he called DCYF after in 2019 but nothing happened. That abuse, he told investigators, included Harmony being spanked “hard on the butt,” being forced “to stand in the corner for hours,” and being ordered “to scrub the toilet with her toothbrush.”
“I said in 2019 that I thought Harmony should be out of Adam’s custody,” Kevin Montgomery told The Daily Beast last week. “The main concern was keeping her safe.”
Desperate pleas for help, Sorey told NBC on Saturday she believes her daughter is still alive.
“I don’t feel like she's gone. I just don’t feel that in my heart,” Sorey said. “Like, I don’t feel like I lost her. And a mother knows, a mother knows if your baby’s here or not. I know she's here.”