New Hampshire man convicted of killing daughter, 5, whose body has not been found

Senior Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Benjamin Agati shows the jury a photograph of the defendant during closing arguments in Adam Montgomery's trial, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Montgomery is accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter Harmony, pictured at left. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool)

Senior Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Benjamin Agati shows the jury a photograph of the defendant during closing arguments in Adam Montgomery's trial, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. Montgomery is accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter Harmony, pictured at left. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool) Jim Davis for The Boston Globe

The Associated Press

Published: 02-22-2024 2:03 PM

MANCHESTER — A New Hampshire man was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury Thursday in the death of his 5-year-old daughter, who police believe was killed nearly two years before she was reported missing in 2021 and whose body was never found.

Adam Montgomery, 34, did not attend the trial and wasn’t present when jurors returned their verdict. He had proclaimed his innocence, saying in court last year in an unrelated case that he loves Harmony Montgomery “unconditionally.”

His attorneys earlier acknowledged his guilt on two lesser charges, that he “purposely and unlawfully removed, concealed or destroyed” her corpse and falsified physical evidence, but said he didn’t kill Harmony. The jury also convicted Montgomery of assaulting his daughter in 2019 and of tampering with the key prosecution witness, his estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery.

Investigators believe Harmony was slain in December 2019, though she wasn’t reported missing for almost two years. Kayla Montgomery, the girl’s stepdaughter, testified that the body was hidden in the trunk of a car, a cooler, a ceiling vent, and a workplace freezer before Adam disposed of it.

Adam Montgomery had custody of Harmony. Her mother, who was no longer in a relationship with him, said the last time she saw Harmony was during a video call in April 2019. She eventually went to police, who announced they were looking for the missing child on New Year’s Eve 2021.

Photos of Harmony were widely circulated on social media. Police eventually determined she had been killed.

Kayla Montgomery is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury charges related to the investigation into the child’s disappearance and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. She testified that that her husband killed Harmony on Dec. 7, 2019, while the family lived in their car after being evicted from their home.

Kayla testified that Adam repeatedly punched Harmony in the face and head because he was angry that she was having bathroom accidents in the car.

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The couple noticed Harmony was dead hours later when the car broke down, at which time Adam Montgomery put her body in a duffel bag, Kayla had testified.

For the next three months, she testified, Adam moved the body from container to container and place to place. According to his wife, the locations included the trunk of a friend’s car, a cooler in the hallway of his mother-in-law’s apartment building, the ceiling vent of a homeless shelter and a workplace freezer.

Adam Montgomery’s attorneys said that he didn’t kill Harmony, and that the only person who knew how she died — Kayla — was lying.