The 31-year-old stepmother of a missing girl who just turned eight years old has pleaded not guilty to two charges of perjury.
Those allegations appear to bear directly on the investigation into the still-mysterious disappearance of Harmony Montgomery, who was last seen when she was five. She turned eight on Tuesday.
Kayla Montgomery was arrested late last week and charged with making two false statements to grand jurors in New Hampshire. Those alleged lies had to do with the location of a prior job and the time of a prior shift she worked, according to the Associated Press.
The defendant’s attorney, Paul Garrity, Boston, Mass. ABC affiliate WCVB that the timeframe in question had to do with November or December 2019–the exact same time period that authorities believe Harmony Montgomery went missing while in her father’s care.
“We’ll have to see whether or not the evidence bears out those allegations,” Garrity told the TV station. “Right now, she’s entered a plea of not guilty and she stands by that plea. I know what the allegations are. We’ll have to see whether or not she, in fact, lied and whether or not that alleged lie is material.”
Law enforcement only learned about the girl’s disappearance late last year, saying the “prolonged absence” was “very concerning.”
In her initial interview, Kayla Montgomery told Manchester Police investigators she had not seen Harmony Montgomery since a morning in late November or early December 2019 while she was getting ready for work. That morning, Kayla Montgomery allegedly told police, her husband, Adam Michael Montgomery, 31, said he was taking his daughter to stay with her mother in Lowell, Mass.
The girl’s mother, Crystal Sorey, never saw her daughter after that alleged trip. Adam Montgomery was arrested in January 2022 and later indicted on an assault charge after allegedly admitting to another relative that he hit Harmony Montgomery in the face.
Kayla Montgomery has been arrested – and released – multiple times since the investigation began.
In January of this year, Kayla Montgomery was arrested on felony welfare fraud charges for allegedly receiving excessive federal-state food assistance for December 2019 through June 2021 “by failing to remove Harmony Montgomery from [her] family account” and “continuing to collect food stamp benefits for Harmony, despite the fact that Harmony was no longer living with Kayla and Kayla’s husband, Adam Montgomery.”
She was offered a plea deal on that fraud charge. Her attorney replied with a counter-offer. That case is still pending.
In April of this year, Kayla Montgomery was arrested again, that time in relation to a case involving her estranged husband and an alleged gun theft scheme. She was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property in connection with those allegations and released on bail.
According to Manchester, N.H. ABC affiliate WMUR, one of Kayla Montgomery’s bail conditions stipulated that she must make daily check-ins with the police. She was arrested on Friday, June 3, 2022, in the lobby of the Manchester Police Department by Manchester police officers while making one such visit.
“One of the conditions is do not commit a new crime, and the allegation is she committed a new crime in front of the grand jury,” Garrity told the TV station on Monday, June 6, 2022. “She seems to be fine. I just spoke to her this morning. She seems fairly upbeat and ready to go forward with the case and get back out on bail.”
She has since been released from custody after waiving an arraignment.
[images via Manchester Police Department]
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