Long time tensions between New Hampshire and Massachusetts bubbled to the surface again in a letter from Gov. Chris Sununu to Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd about the state's handling of the adoption of Harmony Montgomery.

The now 7-year-old was last seen in Manchester in September 2019, but her disappearance was only reported to Manchester Police at the end of December. The investigation is ongoing with a reward of over $137,000 being offered for information leading to her whereabouts.

Harmony's mother Crystal Sorey told investigators that she and father Adam Montgomery lost custody of their daughter because of substance abuse in 2018, but have since become sober. Adam Montgomery was granted custody of his daughter along with wife Kayla Montgomery in 2019.

Adam Montgomery (L), Kayla Montgomery
Adam Montgomery (L), Kayla Montgomery (NH Department of Justice)

Massachusetts Family Court Cut Corners

According to Sununu, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (MA DCF) requested in 2018 that New Hampshire DCYF conduct a home study of Adam and his then-wife Kayla Montgomery. While NH DCYF was awaiting information, a family court in Lawrence abruptly awarded custody to the couple, Sununu said.

"It is unclear why the Massachusetts courts moved so quickly with this permanent placement prior to the completion of the home study. Why would the Massachusetts court choose to place custody of Harmony with this horrible individual? What caused such a fateful decision," Sununu asked in his letter.

The move also bypassed an Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) home study to be completed, which Sununu said would have proven Adam Montgomery was unfit to be a father.

Sununu acknowledged an investigation into how New Hampshire's DCYF handled Harmony Montgomery and asked Budd to review the actions of the court in Lawrence.

"You owe it to Harmony Montgomery, her loved ones, and the public to fully cooperate in handing over the imperative information on this case that could help provide answers and assist with our search. We hope you can agree time is of the essence and give this matter the urgency that is required,"Sununu wrote.

The governor also revealed new information in his letter about Adam Montgomery's past, calling him a "monstrous drug dealer" with previous convictions for "shooting someone in the head and a separate armed attack on two women in Massachusetts."

Harmony Montgomery is described as approximately 4 feet and 50 pounds with blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses. She is blind in her right eye. Information about the girl's current location or about her disappearance can be called into a special tip line manned 24/7 at 603-203-6060.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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