KEY POINTS

  • Kayla Montgomery was arrested on charges of welfare fraud
  • She is accused of obtaining $1,500 in food stamps between December 2019 and June 2021
  • Harmony Montgomery was last seen in October 2019

New Hampshire authorities have arrested the stepmother of 7-year-old girl Harmony Montgomery for allegedly collecting food stamps in the child's name after she disappeared in 2019, the attorney general's office said.

Kayla Montgomery, of Manchester, was arrested on charges of welfare fraud for allegedly obtaining $1,500 in food stamps between December 2019 and June 2021 when Harmony was not living with her. The 31-year-old woman collected the benefits by not removing the child's name from the family's account with the NH Department of Health and Human Services, according to a news release from the attorney's office Thursday.

Meanwhile, the police continue to seek the public's assistance in locating Harmony, who was last seen in October 2019 during a service call at a Manchester residence. The investigators learned about her missing only last week.

Kayla's arrest came a day after her husband, Adam Montgomery, who is Harmony's biological father, was arrested on assault charges. He reportedly "bashed" the then-5-year-old Harmony "around this house" for not taking care of her little brother in July 2019. Adam later spoke about the assault to Harmony's uncle, who reported it to the police.

Kayla reportedly told a DHHS caseworker that Harmony, who is visually impaired, lives with them full time and added her to the family's DHHS account on Feb. 25, 2019, according to Kayla's arrest affidavit.

During a redetermination check on Jan. 7, 2021, Kayla was reportedly "confused about whether or not Harmony lived there because goes to her mom's every other weekend." She later requested the officials to remove Harmony's name claiming the child has moved back with her mother.

Crystal Sorey, Harmony's biological mother, told the cops in November last year that she had not seen her daughter in at least six months. She said her daughter appeared to be frightened when she last saw her in a video call. Adam has legal custody of the child, police said.

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Harmony is blind in her right eye and wears glasses. She is described as four feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes, weighing about 50 pounds.

Anyone with information about her is requested to contact the dedicated tip line at 603-203-6060 or contact Manchester police at 603-668-8711 or the Manchester Crimeline at 603-624-4040.

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