Death Ruling Clears Path for Harmony Montgomery Lawsuits

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Dave Lane/Union Leader pool photo

Crystal Sorey, the mother of Harmony Montgomery, sits with her attorney, Sheliah Kaufold, at a hearing for a probate case hearing at Nashua Circuit Court on Monday. The mother of Harmony, the little girl who was brutally murdered by her father, Adam Montgomery, was in court to declare her daughter deceased in an attempt to file a wrongful death lawsuit.


MANCHESTER – Harmony Montgomery, 5, has been dead for more than four years when she was murdered by her father Adam Montgomery, but now she’s been legally declared dead.

Judge Beth Kissinger ruled Tuesday to accept Adam Montgomery’s conviction as proof that Harmony is dead and appoint Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, as the administrator to her daughter’s estate. This ruling clears the path for Sorey to sue the state of New Hampshire and the state of Massachusetts for the mistakes that contributed to Harmony’s death.

Adam Montgomery was convicted last month of second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse for killing his then five-year-old daughter on Dec. 6, of 2019. Adam Montgomery admitted through his attorneys that he kept the little girl’s rotting corpse in a bag for months as part of his effort to conceal the death.

Harmony’s body has never been recovered and there is no official death certificate. Investigators believe Adam Montgomery dumped her body somewhere in Massachusetts in March of 2020.

Sorey lost custody of infant Harmony in 2014, and the little girl was in and out of foster homes while her mother battled drug addiction. Adam Montgomery was in prison when Harmony was born, and he was a drug addict when he was given custody in 2019, several months before he would kill the child.

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families did not do a full background check on Adam Montgomery before he took the child, according to a later state report. In New Hampshire, a Division for Children, Youth and Families investigator closed an abuse case involving Harmony and Adam Montgomery in August of 2019 as unfounded despite seeing evidence of violence, according to testimony in the murder trial.

Sorey last saw her daughter in a 2019 video call. She eventually reported Harmony missing in late 2021. At that point, Adam Montgomery had been telling people he gave the child back to Sorey in 2019 in order to explain her disappearance.

Adam Montgomery is due to be sentenced later this spring for killing his daughter. He refused to attend any day of his trial last month, but prosecutors plan to require him to be in court for the sentencing. 

Sorey is required to submit a $10,000 bond, and report to the probate court every six months on the progress of the planned wrongful death lawsuit in New Hampshire. 

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