Harmony Montgomery's Stepmother 'Knows What Law Enforcement Is Closing In On Learning,' Prosecutors Say
MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – Prosecutors argued in court Monday that Kayla Montgomery, the stepmother of missing New Hampshire girl Harmony Montgomery, "knows what law enforcement is closing in on learning" in the case and should be considered a flight risk. A judge, however, opted to issue bail in the case with "significant conditions."
Harmony has not been seen since sometime between November 29-December 10, 2019, but was only recently reported missing.
Her father, Adam Montgomery, was previously charged with conduct against Harmony. Kayla Montgomery was arrested as well, but neither is charged directly with the girl's disappearance.
Kayla Montgomery was arraigned Monday on modified theft charges after prosecutors say she allegedly accepted food stamp benefits for Harmony when the girl was missing.
Prosecutors argued that Kayla Montgomery should be held on cash bail because she is a flight risk.
"This isn't a white lie. This isn't a simple lie. This is an approximately 18-month lie to get welfare benefits for a child who has disappeared. Despite a month of around the clock effort of three strong law enforcement agencies to locate her, she still has not appeared," Assistant District Attorney Jesse O'Neill said in court. "I suggest that makes this defendant a strong flight risk. She knows what law enforcement is closing in on learning. Maybe now it looks like an innocuous theft charge, welfare fraud charges. But she knows what we are going to learn as the investigation continues."
Defense attorney Paul Garrity asked the judge to instead release Kayla Montgomery on personal recognizance bail once she is accepted into a rehabilitation program in Nashua.
The judge took arguments under consideration and later in the day ruled that she can be released on personal recognizance bail upon completion of a drug treatment program at the Cynthia Day Family Center for Women and Children.
Among the conditions put into place for Kayla Montgomery's bail is an order that she check in by phone daily with the Manchester Police Department. She must alert the state if she is released from the program for any reason, and is not allowed to have any contact with Adam Montgomery.
Investigators released new information Monday. Specifically, police released more on the timeline of when Harmony was last seen.
Police also released more details about the vehicles that Adam and Kayla Montgomery were living out when they were homeless around the time Harmony disappeared. They hope new information will help spark new tips from the public.
Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg was asked if he is discouraged that Harmony has not yet been found.
"I'm a little discouraged to be honest with you. But that's not going to stop what we're doing," Aldenberg said. "I met with the detectives again this morning. And again, nobody's hanging their head. Nobody's done kicking the can down the road. They're committed to what we're trying to accomplish here. And that's to locate Harmony. That's what this is all about."
Anyone with information can call a 24-hour tip line at 603-203-6060. A reward for information leading police to Harmony has reached nearly $150,000.
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