The last time that Kevin Montgomery says he saw his great niece, Harmony, she “looked like a scared puppy.”
The terrified look on the then-5-year-old’s face appeared during a contentious situation at the Manchester, New Hampshire house Montgomery shared with several family members, including Harmony and her parents. The October 2019 incident, which Montgomery said included him trying to push through the front door when he wasn’t allowed in, resulted in a call to the police and a divide in the family.
Montgomery says the incident prompted his nephew, Harmony’s father, to stop all communication with a slew of other family members, including blocking some of them on social media.
“Then the pandemic hit, and I just assumed Harmony and that side of the family was ok. I was worried, of course, but assumed everything was ok because I had not heard anything,” Montgomery, 43, told The Daily Beast on Monday.
But New Hampshire authorities say that Harmony hasn’t been seen since October 2019—and was only reported missing last week. On Dec. 31, the Manchester Police Department put out a “missing child” alert after learning of her years-long disappearance, and launched an investigation to find the 4-foot-tall girl who should be wearing glasses and is blind in her right eye.
The Manchester Mayor’s chief of staff Lauren Smith told The Daily Beast that the office received an email last week “primarily regarding concerns with the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)” in connection to Harmony. The email, which Smith admitted “was slightly vague on details,” was ultimately forwarded to the Manchester Police Department.
“For us to have a two-year delay, that is extremely concerning," Police Chief Allen Aldenberg said on Friday while announcing an investigation into Harmony’s disappearance. “That's not something that happens to us on a regular basis. It doesn't happen every day.”
Since the New Year’s Eve missing child alert, Aldenberg said that his department has been working “non-stop” to find Harmony alongside DCYF and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. On Sunday, investigators also searched a property on Gilford Street that once belonged to a member of the Montgomery family. City assessor records indicate the home was sold in 2020.
By Monday, authorities announced a combined $12,500 reward for information about Harmony’s whereabouts, as well as a 24-hour tip line for the case that is still being investigated as a missing person’s case.
“I am in rescue mode right now. This is not a recovery. All efforts are focused on that Harmony is alive…until somebody points to me that proves that she is not. We have to operate under the assumption that she is alive,” Aldenberg said during an impassioned speech during a press conference. “Help us find this little girl. Someone knows something. Do what is right and call in. I cannot emphasize this enough. Someone out there knows something."
The chief, who said that 35 investigators are on the case, added Monday that “many” of Harmony’s family members have also been interviewed in an attempt to fill in the blanks as to what happened over the last two years. Aldenberg declined to comment on details of those conversations but noted that nobody has been officially cleared in the investigation.
Harmony’s mother, Crys Renee Sorey, also took to Facebook to plead for information to help solve the mysterious case. Another woman, who identified herself as Harmony's older cousin, wrote on social media that the 7-year-old was “known to be in the custody of her father.”
“HARMONY MOMMYS COMING FOR YOU I PROMISE & I WILL NEVER LET YOU GO!!!! HANG ON BABY!!!!” Sorey wrote in her post alongside photos of the blond-haired girl.
Police have not released any information about Harmony’s parents, and have not confirmed the claim that Harmony had been in her father's custody. Montgomery, however, told The Daily Beast that Sorey met with authorities today for a “polygraph and DNA test.” Sorey did not respond to a request for comment.
Harmony’s great uncle admits he has accepted the grim reality that he may “never see her alive again,” and says he had been worried about the child’s safety for years.
Montgomery told The Daily Beast that he called DCYF on Harmony’s behalf in July 2019 after he saw that she had a black eye—but, he says, nothing happened. Three months later, on Oct. 19, 2019, he says he called the police to the house where his nephew, Harmony’s father, and other family members lived.
During that “intense” and chaotic situation—the last time, he says, that he saw his great niece—Harmony “was quiet, she wasn’t saying much.”
“She looked scared,” Montgomery added.
The Manchester Police Department declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment but Aldenberg has previously said Harmony was last seen at a home in the city after police responded to an October 2019 service call. A spokesperson for DHHS declined to comment on Montgomery’s claim that he had flagged the child’s case for the agency, stating 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.”
Several neighbors also told WMUR they had previously complained to city officials about the conditions of the house Harmony was last seen in. At the time, however, they were told nothing could be done.
“I thought she was a nice, quiet little girl,” one neighbor told the outlet. “It's kind of sad because no kid deserves that. Nobody does.”
Aldenberg on Monday declined to go into details into the investigation, but previously noted that the last time Harmony was enrolled in school was in Massachusetts. He added that the case is a priority for the department and they are “doing everything in their power” to figure out the timeline of Harmony’s last two years.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important any and all tips are,” the chief added. “Knowing where she was can help us narrow down where she is now.”
And while Montgomery says he doesn’t know what happened to Harmony, or who ultimately called the police to report her missing, he believes the mystery behind his great-niece’s disappearance could have been avoided if authorities had taken his pleas seriously.
“We just want to know the truth,” Montgomery added. “We have been in contact with the Manchester Police Department and we will do whatever it takes to get answers.”