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Mother of Harmony Montgomery wants less finger-pointing, more accountability from N.H. officials

a poster of two photos of harmony montgomery, with a few small balloons floating above it
Casey McDermott
/
NHPR
Just a few people showed up for Saturday’s vigil, where Sorey and a handful of other volunteers carefully tended to a small altar of balloons, a candle and a poster bearing smiling photos of Harmony, as a bitter wind threatened to sweep it all away.

Harmony Montgomery’s mother is disputing the findings of a report on her daughter's case that was recently issued by Gov. Chris Sununu's office.

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That report said child protection workers made at least one attempt to verify that Harmony, a 7-year-old who is believed to have gone missing in Manchester, was living with her mother in early 2020, as Harmony's father claimed at the time.

But at a vigil raising awareness for her daughter’s case at Stark Park in Manchester Saturday night, Crystal Sorey said she never received that call. She said she’s trying to gather phone records from 2019 to the present to show that lack of outreach from the state.

“They didn’t call me to find out if Harmony was with me,” Sorey said. “They solely went off of what this man told them.”

Just a few people showed up for Saturday’s vigil, where Sorey and a handful of other volunteers carefully tended to a small altar of balloons, a candle and a poster bearing smiling photos of Harmony, as a bitter wind threatened to sweep it all away.

“Nobody can ever say, ‘Well, she left her.’ They can never say that about me,” Sorey said. “That’s really the whole point in all this, I want her to know that she’s loved, and we’re out here, even in the coldest weather.”

Sorey said she hasn't given up hope that her daughter could still return. But she also wants to see more accountability and less finger-pointing from the officials — in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts — who allowed Harmony to go missing.

“I want New Hampshire to be held accountable,” Sorey said this weekend. “I want the governor to say, ‘OK, we dropped the ball here.’”

In January, shortly after authorities disclosed that Harmony was missing, Sununu placed much of the blame on Massachusetts officials for placing her in the care of her father, Adam Montgomery, before New Hampshire authorities could complete a home study to make sure it was safe to do so.

Yet, according to the report recently issued by Sununu’s office, Massachusetts’ child protection agency asked their counterparts in New Hampshire to complete that home study — but New Hampshire didn’t follow through on that request, citing a lack of information.

The same report shows that New Hampshire child protection workers made multiple visits to the Montgomery household in 2020 in which Harmony was not present. While her father claimed she was living with her mother, child protection workers failed to make sure that was actually true.

Sorey said she knows an apology won’t make her daughter come home any quicker, but it would show New Hampshire authorities are committed to making changes to prevent what happened to Harmony from happening to any other child.

“This is my child’s life. This isn’t a TV show,” Sorey said. “I want them to say, ‘I apologize.’”

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