Adam Montgomery trial jurors begin deliberations in murder case: Live

Prosecutors in Adam Montgomery’s trial over the murder of his five-year-old daughter Harmony have warned jurors against being “fooled” by the accused killer.

Mr Montgomery’s trial is taking place more than four years after Harmony was last seen alive in 2019.

Authorities failed to search for the missing child – who was known to protective services – for more than two years after she went missing.

In 2022, Mr Montgomery was charged with second-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and falsifying physical evidence.

Kayla Montgomery told police that her husband struck the Harmony several times after she had a bathroom accident.

The little girl’s remains were hidden in a ceiling vent at a shelter where the family stayed after her death. Montgomery snuck the remains into his workplace freezer, before disposing of them in March 2020. Harmony’s remains have never been found.

On Wednesday, the defence and the state delivered closing arguments after two and a half weeks of trial.

“The defendant admitted only to what he had to,” prosecutor Ben Agati said. “Because he thinks that you are going to be fooled ... He admits what he can’t deny. He denies what he can’t afford to admit.”

Key points

Harmony’s mother breaks down in tears during closing arguments

21:49 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, cried and at times covered her ears as prosecutors spoke about the horrific ways in which Harmony’s remains were handled.

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judge gives jury instructions

18:06 , Andrea Blanco

Judge Messer is now giving instructions to jurors.

Prosecutors delivers strong closing arguments

18:01 , Andrea Blanco

“The defendant admitted only to what he had to,” Mr Agati said. “Because he thinks that you are going to be fooled.”

“He thinks if you let him slide on the murder, you’ll let him slide on the other two.”

“He admits what he can’t deny. He denies what he can’t afford to admit.”

“And the only parts of Harmony that are left will be with you in that deliberation room, on that pink toothbrush, and on that part of the ceiling wall, that’s there

“And the other parts of her body. Her torso, her face, her eyes, that smile ... only the defendant, as we sit and stand here today, knows where they are.

“And he can’t afford to say where they are, because the evidence contained on them will show that she caused her death, so she won’t get the burial that she deserves.

Unlikely Montgomery was ‘doing business’ when Harmony died, state says

17:42 , Andrea Blanco

“What is unreasonable to believe is the defendant’s theory that something happened in the middle of the night and he was not there,” Mr Agati said.

“He said that he was doing his business to get the family out of that car.

“He’s unemployed. He’s got no business. What business have we heard or seen any testimony about?”

Mr Agati is using the defence’s words against Montgomery

17:20 , Andrea Blanco

“That’s what her protector did to her,” Mr Agati said, quoting Ms Smith’s words, as he showed jurors a picture of Kayla Montgomery’s beaten face.

State hones in on testimony of Harmony’s abuse

17:11 , Andrea Blanco

Mr Agati brought up testimony from Montgomery’s uncle Kevin Montgomery, who told jurors that he saw Harmony with a black eye after she was hit by her father.

Mr Agati asked jurors to remember that Kevin Montgomery did not want to testify against his nephew, but had be subpoenaed.

“You saw it in his face what he remembers the defendant said he did to Harmony,” Mr Agati said.

‘Let’s quote Montgomery accurately,’ state says in closing arguments

16:51 , Andrea Blanco

“If you’re going to quote the defendant, you have to make sure that you’re accurate,” prosecutor Ben Agati tells jurors.

“I apologise in advance, but let’s quote people accurately ...

“‘I f***ed up,’ again and again and again. ‘I f****d up.’ His language, that he used ... the night that disappeared Harmony’s body to wherever place it is now, where he knows. His words,’ I f****d up.’ Not she, not we, not Kayla. ‘I’. Singular, personal, solo.”

Court takes break

16:28 , Andrea Blanco

The defence has finished their closing arguments.

Judge Messer said the state will have a chance to deliver their closing arguments when the court returns from a short break.

‘Can you put your trust for one of the most important decisions of your life, in Kayla?’ defence asks jurors

16:17 , Andrea Blanco

“Adam did some very very bad things but he did not kill his daughter,” Ms Smith says.

“He did what he did and he got accused of something he did not do.”

“Can you put your trust for one of the most important decisions of your life, in Kayla?” Ms Smith asked jurors. “The police know that she is a liar, the state knows that she is a liar. She was charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury.”

Ms Smith says that people gave tips to ‘have two minutes of fame'

16:14 , Andrea Blanco

“Pictures of that adorable child in the media,” Ms Smith said while holding a large cardboard with a picture of a grinning Harmony. “In the community. ‘Help us find this girl.’ The media is all over it. It’s the biggest investigation the Manchester Police did and they dedicated time and resources over and over again.

“The emotions had to be running high. And they kept going down the wrong path because people would give them information whether it was they wanted to help them, or as Adam put it in his recording, they wanted their two minutes of fame. Or they wanted something [from the prosecution], like Kayla.”

Defence attorney claims Kayla lied about Harmony’s abuse

15:51 , Andrea Blanco

Ms Smith is pointing out that Harmony was not hidden from the police officer who checked in on the family after they had an accident around the time of the little girl’s death.

Harmony was also not hidden from Montgomery’s friend and drug dealer Anthony Bodero, Ms Smith said.

Kayla Montgomery said during her testimony that Harmony was often kept hidden under a cover to hide her severely bruised body and bloodied face from the beatings.

15:29 , Andrea Blanco

Ms Smith brought up the allegations of disturbing abuse by Adam Montgomery

“No one would stand by that,” Ms Smith said. “Why did Kayla stand by that? Because it did not happen.”

“’Wake up, baby girl,’ Adam said when he discovered [Harmony] unnaturally appeared to be asleep. And she never woke up again.”

Defence seeks to undermine at Kayla’s testimony

15:15 , Andrea Blanco

Ms Smith is picking apart Kayla Montgomery’s testimony, noting that she had wrongly recalled the children’s seating arrangements in the back of the car on the day of Harmony’s murder.

Ms Smith has also cast doubt on Kayla’s account of the events, questioning why she decided to ask Montogmery to drive to a Burger King and then go buy drugs right after he allegedly beat Harmony to death.

“She didn’t remember this. She made this up,” Ms Smith said. “As you think about Kayla, think about how she testified.

“She didn’t remember if [Harmony] had peed or pooped.”

15:04 , Andrea Blanco

Ms Smith tells jurors that Adam “did not kill his baby girl”

However, Ms Smith claims, he went on to commit “criminal” acts to conceal the body. Only because

“So Kayla decided to lie about Harmony’s death,” Ms Smith said. “She had to lie because the truth would point to her. And her lies were accepted because Adam was accused of Kayla’s black eye.”

Defence delivers closing statements

15:01 , Andrea Blanco

“’Wake up, baby girl,’ those were the words Kayla described Adam used,” attorney Caroline Smith said.

“But she didn’t. Those words were the truth, surrounded by Kayla’s lies.”

Court resumes

14:59 , Andrea Blanco

Judge Messer warned jurors of “posters” outside the courthouse, and reminded them they’re only to take into account evidence presented in court.

WATCH: Friend who loaned car to Adam Montgomery denies seeing Harmony

14:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother’s ‘betrayal letter’ revealed

13:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony’s remains were relocated several times — first stored in a cooler at the home of Kayla’s mother, later to a ceiling vent at a shelter the family lived in and even taken to Montgomery’s workplace — before Montgomery made efforts to destroy the body and dispose of it in March 2021.

Refuting Kayla’s version of the events leading up to Harmony’s death, the defence has alleged that the minor actually died under her stepmother’s care and that Montgomery only went along with plans to dispose of the body to “protect” Kayla and their two infant sons. Defence attorney Caroline Smith introduced a note Kayla wrote while in prison in 2022 following an arrest on theft charges for collecting welfare benefits for Harmony.

Ms Smith read the letter out loud, including excerpts in which Kayla wrote that she wanted immunity and custody of her children if she was going to come forward to authorities with information about Harmony’s murder. Among other demands, Kayla also wrote that she wanted to see Montgomery “one last time, kiss him, and maybe make love to him,” Ms Smith said — casting doubt on the prosecution’s argument that Kayla initially lied to officials because she was being threatened by Montgomery.

“What you didn’t write was protection from Adam, what you didn’t write was that you were afraid of Adam,” Ms Smith asked. “You just wanted to be with him before you, as you put it, betray him, right?”

“I wasn’t thinking about that .... yes,” Kayla answered.

Adam Montgomery’s drug dealer insists he ‘wants to help find who killed Harmony’

12:00 , Andrea Blanco

Anthony Bodero, the friend that Kayla and Adam Montgomery visited on the day that Harmony died, took the stand last week.

Montgomery is standing trial on murder charges after conceding to two charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in connection with his daughter’s December 2019 death.

During his testimony, Mr Bodero told jurors that Kayla and Adam Montgomery visited his apartment complex on 7 December 2019 — the day that authorities say Harmony was beaten to death. Mr Bodero said the Montgomerys told him their car had broken down and they had nowhere to go,

“They gave me a call, told me they had no place to go and came to where I was staying,” he told the court. “I let them upstairs. I told them, ‘I can let you stay in my car, but I can’t let you stay here because this is not my apartment.’”

The Montgomerys stayed in Mr Bodero’s car for two days. Mr Bodero said he went down to the parking lot a couple of times to check in on the Montgomerys, brought them food and waved at their two infant sons, but did not see Harmony.

Under cross-examination by the defence, Mr Bodero became agitated after attorney Caroline Smith suggested that he “didn’t want anything to do with the investigation or Harmony.”

“It’s not the way you’re making it sound, I want to help you guys,” a visibly exasperated Mr Bodero said.

“Help who?” Ms Smith went on to ask.

“The prosecution. I want to help find who killed that little girl,” Mr Bodero said.

WATCH:Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife says she ‘still care about’ him after alleged abuse

11:00 , Andrea Blanco

Adam Montgomery accused of buying $400 in equipment to destroy Harmony’s body

10:00 , Andrea Blanco

The state’s case has largely hinged on testimony by Montgomery’s estranged wife, as well as DNA evidence of the horrific ways in which he worked to crush, reduce and dispose of Harmony’s remains.

On Thursday, jurors heard about a February 2020 $400 purchase of limestone, a metal-cutting diamond blade, a lithium-ion battery and a power grinder.

Adam Montgomery accused of buying $400 in equipment to destroy Harmony’s body

Man on trial in killing of 5-year-old daughter said he hated her 'right to his core,' friend says

09:00 , Andrea Blanco

Rebecca Maines, who is in prison for a parole violation, testified that Adam Montgomery told her in the summer of 2021 that he had been trying to see his daughter, Harmony Montgomery, since 2019, when he dropped her off to be with her mother because he said she was having bathroom accidents “on purpose.”

Even though Adam Montgomery had been granted legal custody of the girl months before she vanished, Maines testified that he told her that Harmony’s mother wouldn’t allow him to visit her.

Maines, who described Montgomery at one point as her best friend, also testified about an incident that happened before he said he took Harmony to her mother. She said he told her he “backhanded” his daughter after seeing her put her hand over her younger brother’s lips and nose. In earlier testimony, Adam Montgomery’s uncle testified that he saw Harmony with a black eye at the family home in 2019 and that Adam told him he “bashed” her around the house after seeing her put her hands on her brother.

During cross-examination, Maines was asked about her criminal record from 2014 to 2019, which includes theft and fraud convictions. She is scheduled for a parole hearing in April, but also faces several pending charges.

WATCH: Ex-police officer describes processing car which Harmony Montgomery was murdered in

08:00 , Andrea Blanco

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

07:00 , Andrea Blanco

Tarah Hilbert, the building manager at the Union Street apartment where Montgomery, his estranged wife Kayla Montgomery and their two infant sons lived after Harmony was killed, took the stand on Friday.

Ms Hilbert told jurors that she befriended the Montgomerys six months after they moved to the building complex in 2020, and often spent time with Kayla and the boys.

She then recounted a conversation in which Montgomery told her he had a daughter who lived with her mother in Lowell, Massachusetts.

“He said he had a daughter named Harmony and he hadn’t seen her in a couple of years because her mother had taken her,” Ms Hilbert said.

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

05:00 , Andrea Blanco

A mystery caller dialled into a tip line with information about the Harmony Montgomery case amid her father’s New Hampshire trial over the little girl’s alleged murder.

The developments were revealed by Adam Montgomery’s defence attorney at the end of his second week of trial in Manchester. Montgomery, who is accused of beating Harmony to death in December 2019, is facing a count of second-degree murder.

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

Harmony Montgomery’s mother asks court to declare little girl dead amid father’s murder trial

03:00 , Andrea Blanco

Crystal Sorey filed the petition in late January, just days before Adam Montgomery’s second-degree murder trial kicked off in Manchester. Montgomery, 34, has conceded on two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in the death of his daughter.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Ms Sorey intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit for Harmony’s killing. A probate court has scheduled a hearing for March to hear arguments on the matter.

Harmony Montgomery’s mother asks court to declare little girl dead amid murder trial

Rampant abuse, damning DNA evidence and a ‘betrayal’ prison letter: Harmony Montgomery trial’s key revelations

01:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony disappeared in 2019, but police didn’t know she was missing until two years later, when her mother publicly demanded an investigation after months of failed attempts to get in touch with Montgomery.

Montgomery’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery later came forward with allegations that he fatally hit Harmony in the head after she soiled herself while the family was travelling in a car. Kayla and Adam Montgomery’s then-infant sons were also inside the vehicle, where the family had been living after being evicted from their home in November 2019.

What followed were two years of disturbing plots to hide Harmony’s decomposing body. Montgomery finally disposed of it at an unknown location in March 2020.

Harmony’s remains have never been found.

Here are some of the key revelations that have emerged in court during the trial:

Key revelations in Harmony Montgomery murder trial

Adam Montgomery said police ‘were wasting their time’ trying to find Harmony’s remains

Tuesday 20 February 2024 23:00 , Andrea Blanco

The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday in Montgomery’s ongoing trial in Manchester. Mongomery, who conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information earlier this month, faces one count of second-degree murder in connection with five-year-old Harmony Montgomery’s death.

According to key testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery, he repeatedly hit the little girl in the head on 7 December 2019 after she soiled herself. Montgomery and Kayla did not realise Harmony had stopped breathing until hours later.

Adam Montgomery said police ‘were wasting their time’ trying to find Harmony’s body

Adam Montgomery tries to toss wife’s testimony about Harmony’s violent murder

Tuesday 20 February 2024 19:41 , Andrea Blanco

Over the holiday weekend, the defence filed a motion seeking to toss out Kayla’s testimony, claiming that the state had tried to influence her. Montgomery’s attorneys said they had decided against requesting a mistrial at that point, but wanted jurors to dismiss Kayla’s account of the events on 7 December 2019.

Adam Montgomery tries to toss wife’s testimony about Harmony’s violent murder

Court adjourned

Tuesday 20 February 2024 17:34 , Andrea Blanco

The prosecution has now rested their case.

Judge Messer told jurors the prosecution may decide to present a case or not tomorrow.

Closing arguments are then expected.

Montgomery said search for Harmony was 'waste of taxpayer’s money’

Tuesday 20 February 2024 17:19 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery went on to argue that the search was a “waste to taxpayers money” and the allegations were “outlandish.”

“I get it, you’re trying to prove a case, kudos to you, But, at what cost, man? Just going to chase down people that f***ing call in from Arizona?

“They’re going to fly out to Arizona ... to get surveillance?”

Adam Montgomery trial hears call he made to friend amid river search

Tuesday 20 February 2024 17:16 , Andrea Blanco

“One dude went to the police and I was blown away,” Montgomery said in the call. “This dude was like, ‘Oh, my friend ... he passed away, but he was very cool with Adam. He told me Adam gave his daughter to him to bury by the river. I can bring you to the spot.’

“They had the FBI and everybody else there digging up the river. I’m like, is this real life right now? They wasted their time.’

Detective discusses search for Harmony

Tuesday 20 February 2024 17:01 , Andrea Blanco

Detective Matthew LaRochelle tells the court that Harmony was never enrolled in school in Manchester.

Det LaRochelle also testified about the search for Harmony in the Merrimack River.

At one point, the police received a tip that Harmony was enrolled in school in Surprise, Arizona.

Rebecca Maines lashes out at defence attorney

Tuesday 20 February 2024 16:08 , Andrea Blanco

Under cross-examination, Ms Maine lashes out at the defence after James Brooks listed all her past convictions.

Maines appeared in court dressed in prison clothes. She said she’s been sober for 10 months and expects to be released in April.

“I’m a criminal, yes,” she said.

She then pushed back against suggestions by Mr Brooks that she testified for the state “to get out of her situation.”

“I was on parole, sir. You don’t get to be released just because the police said so,” Maines said. “Nothing will improve my legal situation but myself.”

Montgomery told friend he ‘hated’ Harmony

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:45 , Andrea Blanco

Ms Maines told the court that Montgomery said Harmony reminded him of his mother.

“Did he tell you how that made him feel?” prosecutor Ben Agati asked.

“He said he hated her, right to his core,” Ms Maines answered.

Adam Montgomery’s told friend he had dropped Harmony with mother in Massachusetts

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:41 , Andrea Blanco

Rebecca Maines said he met Montgomery in 2021 because both were part of the “sober community.”

Ms Maines, a former nurse, said she and Montgomery were “best friends” and travelled together.

“He told me that he dropped [Harmony] off at her mother’s,” Ms Maines said. “He said that her mother would not allow him to see her and that he had been trying for some time.”

Ms Maines recounted an instance in which Montgomery discussed Harmony’s bathroom accidents. He reportedly said he would put her in the corner whenever she soiled herself.

“He said it was on purpose,” Ms Maines said.

When asked about the reason Montgomery gave for returning Harmony back to her mother, Ms Maines said: “Because she continuously sh*t her pants, [he said.]”

Trooper Hernandez testifies about search efforts

Tuesday 20 February 2024 15:02 , Andrea Blanco

Trooper Hernandez is pointing at the areas on a map that authorities canvassed for the body of Harmony Montgomery.

“It’s pretty much wherever the PD is interested in searching,” Trooper Hernandez said. “In this case, Manchester PD had several areas of interest.”

Trooper Hernandez said federal and local agencies were present during the search efforts.

Adam Montgomery’s trial resumes

Tuesday 20 February 2024 14:51 , Andrea Blanco

Trooper Bryan Hernandez is on the stand.

Trooper Hernandez assisted in Harmony’s missing persons investigations in December 2021.

The wife of a man charged with killing his 5-year-old daughter says she still cares about him

Tuesday 20 February 2024 14:00 , Andrea Blanco

Kayla Montgomery has been the star witness against her husband, Adam, who is facing second-degree murder and other charges in the death of his daughter, Harmony. Authorities believe the girl was killed on 7 December 2019, but that she wasn’t reported missing for nearly two years after that. The girl’s body has not been found.

As the trial got underway in Manchester last week, defense attorneys acknowledged Adam Montgomery is guilty of falsifying evidence and abusing a corpse. But they said he did not kill Harmony and have instead suggested the girl actually died on 6 December while alone with her stepmother, Kayla.

“I still care about him because he’s the father of my children,” she said. “He was my best friend. It’s been hard for me to just let go.”

WATCH: Ex-police officer describes processing car which Harmony Montgomery was murdered in

Tuesday 20 February 2024 13:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother breaks down as she reveals chilling plan to use Nutribullet to dispose of body

Tuesday 20 February 2024 12:00 , Andrea Blanco

Kayla Montgomery’s harrowing testimony in court included disturbing descriptions of the plans to dispose of Harmony’s body that Adam Montgomery discussed after the little girl was murdered on 7 December.

Montgomery, 34, is currently standing trial in Manchester, New Hampshire on a second-degree murder charge after conceding on two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information.

Harmony Montgomery’s stepmom reveals plan to use Nutribullet to dispose of body

Montgomery took daughter’s rotting remains to work with him

Tuesday 20 February 2024 11:00 , Andrea Blanco

After neighbours began to complain about the smell, Montgomery reportedly brought the bag with Harmony’s remains to work with him every day.

At the time, he worked as a cook and dishwasher at the since-closed Portland Pie Company.

“[The bag] stood out to people, because he placed it in the freezer during his shifts,” a prosecutor said. “He brought it with him regularly to work and he stored it in a freezer where the company kept food, and ingredients. People saw him bringing that in and out. They couldn’t have imagined what that bag contained.”

Adam Montgomery used lime to dissolve body in bathtub

Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:00 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery began discussing ways to dispose of Harmony’s body in March 2020, after he and Kayla Montgomery moved to an apartment on Union Street with their children.

“He discussed using a saw to cut her up. He discussed using lime to further decompose her so she couldn’t be found,” the prosecution said during opening statements. “Remember, he believed that if there was no body there could be no evidence and he could get away with this.”

The state said that he compressed the sealed bag with Harmony’s remains and added quicklime to the bag.

“Thinking that it would eat away anything left of her,” the prosecution said. “He spent most of the day in that bathroom compressing Harmony.”

According to the prosecution, Montgomery took Harmony’s frozen remains and put them in the tub, running hot water to further manipulate what was left of the body. Kayla Montgomery then walked inside the bathroom and allegedly saw Montgomery.

She saw that Harmony was largely skin, bones and fluid – and that Mr Montgomery was trying to dispose of her remains down the drain, the prosecution said.

Adam Montgomery’s fingerprints found next to Harmony’s blood

Tuesday 20 February 2024 09:00 , Andrea Blanco

After Harmony was killed on 7 December 2019, her father, stepmother Kayla Montgomery, and the couple’s two infant children moved in with Kayla’s mother. At that time, Montgomery reportedly kept Harmony’s remains inside a red freezer with a white lid.

The family later moved to a shelter, where Montgomery then hid Harmony’s body inside a ceiling vent.

“He compressed and contorted her body into this bag,” the prosecution said while showing a medium-sized tote bag.

The state said that when investigators returned to the room two years later, they saw deep blood stains in the ceiling vent and smelled decomposition.

“And surrounding Harmony’s blood, all that was left of her .... the defendant’s fingerprints and palm prints, froze in there for a time,” the prosecution said.

Kayla Montgomery says ‘she still cares’ about Adam Montgomery

Tuesday 20 February 2024 08:00 , Andrea Blanco

“Why stay with someone that does what he did to a helpless girl?” the prosecutor asked Kayla Montgomery as he held a large picture of her beaten face — allegedly caused by Montogmery.

“Because for some reason, I still care about him,” Kayla answered with her head down as she wiped her tears.

“Why stay with someone that beat her to death,” the prosecutor pushed.

“I don’t know, I was scared.”

Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother’s ‘betrayal letter’ revealed

Tuesday 20 February 2024 07:00 , Andrea Blanco

According to prosecutors, Montgomery fatally hit his daughter in the head after she soiled herself while in the car Harmony, Kayla, and the couple’s two infant sons lived out of.

The little girl’s death went unreported for two years until authorities in Manchester launched an investigation in 2021 following desperate attempts by Harmony’s mother to get in touch with her.

Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother’s ‘betrayal letter’ revealed

WATCH: Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife says she ‘still care about’ him after alleged abuse

Tuesday 20 February 2024 06:00 , Andrea Blanco

Rampant abuse, damning DNA evidence and a ‘betrayal’ prison letter: Harmony Montgomery trial’s key revelations

Tuesday 20 February 2024 05:00 , Andrea Blanco

Harmony disappeared in 2019, but police didn’t know she was missing until two years later, when her mother publicly demanded an investigation after months of failed attempts to get in touch with Montgomery.

Montgomery’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery later came forward with allegations that he fatally hit Harmony in the head after she soiled herself while the family was travelling in a car. Kayla and Adam Montgomery’s then-infant sons were also inside the vehicle, where the family had been living after being evicted from their home in November 2019.

What followed were two years of disturbing plots to hide Harmony’s decomposing body. Montgomery finally disposed of it at an unknown location in March 2020.

Harmony’s remains have never been found.

Here are some of the key revelations that have emerged in court during the first week of trial:

Key revelations in Harmony Montgomery murder trial

Harmony Montgomery trial shown blood-stained ceiling drywall where little girl’s remains were hidden

Tuesday 20 February 2024 04:00 , Andrea Blanco

Between Harmony’s death in late 2019, and March 2020, her remains were moved from a cooler at the home of Kayla Montgomery’s mother to the ceiling vents at a homeless shelter where the Montgomerys stayed and then to a walk-in freezer at his workplace.

Harmony Montgomery trial shown bloody ceiling where little girl’s remains were hidden

Montgomerys used SNAP benefits to pay for drugs

Tuesday 20 February 2024 03:00 , Andrea Blanco

The Montgomerys’ dealer took food stamps as a form of payment for drugs.

As a result, Kayla Montgomery said, the whole family found themselves having to eat baby food.

“Who was eating baby food while you were living in that car?” the prosecutor asked.

“All of us,” Kayla Montgomery said as she broke down in tears. “Myself, and the boys and Harmony.”

Montgomery discussed using NutriBullet to further reduce remains

Tuesday 20 February 2024 02:00 , Andrea Blanco

Kayla alleged that Montgomery discussed using a handsaw and a NutriBullet to destroy Harmony’s rotting remains. Montgomery spent hours inside the bathroom “dethawing” Harmony’s frozen remains, cutting the clothes off the body, and running hot water onto what remained of the little girl, she said.

“He wanted to use a handsaw and a NutriBullet,” Kayla told the court. “He said that’d be good to use to help get rid of her ... I saw Harmony folded together the same way she was when we took her out of the car. She looked like she had barely any skin, just skin and bones and was very bruised. He had the hot water running ... in the tub.”

It is unclear whether Montgomery actually used a NutriBullet. According to the prosecution, Montgomery did purchase lime, a metal-cutting blade and a grinder at a Home Depot.

Harmony Montgomery’s father kept her ‘rotting remains in restaurant freezer alongside ingredients’, jury hears

Tuesday 20 February 2024 01:00 , Andrea Blanco

Presenting the disturbing case to the jury panel, a state prosecutor detailed the great lengths that Montgomery went to conceal and abuse his daughter’s corpse — and how he stored the remains in a walk-in freezer at a restaurant where he worked.

Harmony Montgomery’s father kept ‘rotting remains in restaurant freezer’

Kayla Montgomery reveals what the family did after Harmony was ‘beaten to death’

Tuesday 20 February 2024 00:00 , Andrea Blanco

Kayla told jurors Montgomery always kept Harmony covered with a blanket to hide her bruised body from strangers.

After Harmony was killed, the couple pulled up to a Burger King drive-thru to get food, with Kayla allegedly even putting a sandwich on the dead little girl’s lap. They then drove to a friend’s apartment complex, where they purchased drugs before finally realising Harmony had died.

“After the defendant repeatedly struck Harmony. After he put the blanket over her. After she moaned. After the strange crying moaning stopped. After you did drugs and after the car died, you thought she was sleeping under that blanket,” a prosecutor asked Kayla. “Why did you think that she may be sleeping after Adam repeatedly struck her?”

“Because she would usually just go to sleep after,” she answered.

Adam Montgomery’s drug dealer insists he ‘wants to help find who killed Harmony’

Monday 19 February 2024 23:00 , Andrea Blanco

Anthony Bodero, the friend that Kayla and Adam Montgomery visited on the day that Harmony died, took the stand on Tuesday.

Montgomery is standing trial on murder charges after conceding to two charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in connection with his daughter’s December 2019 death.

Under cross-examination by the defence, Mr Bodero became agitated after attorney Caroline Smith suggested that he “didn’t want anything to do with the investigation or Harmony.”

“It’s not the way you’re making it sound, I want to help you guys,” a visibly exasperated Mr Bodero said.

“Help who?” Ms Smith went on to ask.

“The prosecution. I want to help find who killed that little girl,” Mr Bodero said.

Adam Montgomery pins blame for Harmony’s murder on ex-wife in dramatic opening statement

Monday 19 February 2024 22:00 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery’s lawyer gave a dramatic preview of the line of defence they will be pursuing throughout the trial. During the opening statement, attorney James Brooks claimed that it was Kayla Montgomery, his client’s estranged wife and Harmony’s stepmother, who last saw the little girl alive.

Mr Brooks went on to say that Kayla Montgomery had created a web of lies to put the blame on her husband and that Adam Montgomery had merely agreed to destroy evidence to “protect” his wife and keep custody of their young children.

“He’s not innocent here. He and Kayla moved the body to keep it hidden. You should find him guilty on those charges,” Mr Brooks told jurors. “Adam Montgomery did not kill Harmony ... Kayla Montgomery was the last person to see Harmony alive and knows how Harmony died.”

Harmony Montgomery’s father posted ‘loving’ social media post two years before allegedly punching her to death

Monday 19 February 2024 21:00 , Andrea Blanco

The abuse that Harmony endured at the hands of her father emerged during the trial, with Kayla Montgomery telling the court that the little girl was kept hidden under a blanket to cover her bruised body and bloodied face from the beatings.

Kayla also told jurors that Montgomery had “worked” to obtain custody, and recounted how they both helped decorate Harmony’s Mickey Mouse-themed bedroom before she came to live with them.

Adam Montgomery’s ‘loving’ social media post before allegedly killing daughter

Harmony Montgomery trial shown blood-stained ceiling drywall where little girl’s remains were hidden

Monday 19 February 2024 20:00 , Andrea Blanco

The prosecution has argued in court that Montgomery beat Harmony to death after she soiled herself inside the family car. At the time, Harmony, Montgomery, his estranged wife Kayla Montgomery and the couple’s two infant sons were living in the vehicle after being evicted.

Meanwhile, Montgomery’s attorneys have claimed in court that Harmony actually died under the care of her stepmother and that her father only went along with plans to destroy the body to “protect” his family.

Between Harmony’s death in late 2019, and March 2020, her remains were moved from a cooler at the home of Kayla Montgomery’s mother to the ceiling vents at a homeless shelter where the Montgomerys stayed and then to a walk-in freezer at his workplace.

Harmony Montgomery trial shown bloody ceiling where little girl’s remains were hidden

IN PICTURES: Adam Montgomery’s trial

Monday 19 February 2024 19:00 , Andrea Blanco

Martin Orlowicz, a New Hampshire State Police Forensic Lab latent print examiner, testifies how he identified fingerprints belonging to Adam Montgomery found at the scene (AP)
Martin Orlowicz, a New Hampshire State Police Forensic Lab latent print examiner, testifies how he identified fingerprints belonging to Adam Montgomery found at the scene (AP)
Judge Amy Messer, seated, talks with lawyers during the morning session at the trial of Adam Montgomery (AP)
Judge Amy Messer, seated, talks with lawyers during the morning session at the trial of Adam Montgomery (AP)
Scott Riley testifies in front of a photo of the ceiling of Unit 1 at the Families in Transition Shelter at the trial of Adam Montgomery (AP)
Scott Riley testifies in front of a photo of the ceiling of Unit 1 at the Families in Transition Shelter at the trial of Adam Montgomery (AP)
 (AP)
(AP)
Former Manchester Police Officer Joseph Tucker points at a photograph of Adam Montgomery’s Chrysler Sebring (AP)
Former Manchester Police Officer Joseph Tucker points at a photograph of Adam Montgomery’s Chrysler Sebring (AP)
 (AP)
(AP)
Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Christopher Knowles shows a red cooler where Harmony’s remains were once stored (AP)
Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Christopher Knowles shows a red cooler where Harmony’s remains were once stored (AP)
Kayla Montgomery gestures while testifying during the trial of Adam Montgomery at Hillsborough County Superior Court
Kayla Montgomery gestures while testifying during the trial of Adam Montgomery at Hillsborough County Superior Court

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

Monday 19 February 2024 18:00 , Andrea Blanco

Tarah Hilbert, the building manager at the Union Street apartment where Montgomery, his estranged wife Kayla Montgomery and their two infant sons lived after Harmony was killed, took the stand on Friday.

Ms Hilbert told jurors that she befriended the Montgomerys six months after they moved to the building complex in 2020, and often spent time with Kayla and the boys.

She then recounted a conversation in which Montgomery told her he had a daughter who lived with her mother in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

Monday 19 February 2024 17:00 , Andrea Blanco

The developments were revealed by Adam Montgomery’s defence attorney at the end of his second week of trial in Manchester. Montgomery, who is accused of beating Harmony to death in December 2019, is facing a count of second-degree murder.

Montgomery has conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information. Montgomery only appeared in court during the first day of jury selection and has not returned since.

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

Adam Montgomery accused of buying $400 in equipment to destroy Harmony’s body

Monday 19 February 2024 16:00 , Andrea Blanco

The state’s case has largely hinged on testimony by Montgomery’s estranged wife, as well as DNA evidence of the horrific ways in which he worked to crush, reduce and dispose of Harmony’s remains.

On Thursday, jurors heard about a February 2020 $400 purchase of limestone, a metal-cutting diamond blade, a lithium-ion battery and a power grinder.

Adam Montgomery accused of buying $400 in equipment to destroy Harmony’s body

WATCH: Friend who loaned car to Adam Montgomery denies seeing child Harmony

Monday 19 February 2024 15:00 , Andrea Blanco

Trial to resume on Tuesday

Monday 19 February 2024 14:06 , Andrea Blanco

The court is adjourned today for Presidents Day.

Last week, Judge Messer told jurors that the trial was going at a faster pace than expected and that deliberations could take place by the end of the week.

Initially, the trial was expected to last three weeks and a half.

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

Monday 19 February 2024 14:00 , Andrea Blanco

On Friday, attorney Caroline Smith brought up a tip made by an unknown individual.

“During the course of the trial, apparently somebody contacted the tipline and was interviewed, gave information,” Ms Smith told Judge Amy Messer. “The state has given us a recording of the interview. I have not [gone through it.] We certainly have somebody trying to go through it. I don’t know, and I don’t need to name this person. I don’t know if we’ll be seeking to call this person [to testify].”

Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

Monday 19 February 2024 11:00 , Andrea Blanco

Tarah Hilbert, the building manager at the Union Street apartment where Montgomery, his estranged wife Kayla Montgomery and their two infant sons lived after Harmony was killed, took the stand on Friday.

Ms Hilbert told jurors that she befriended the Montgomerys six months after they moved to the building complex in 2020, and often spent time with Kayla and the boys.

She then recounted a conversation in which Montgomery told her he had a daughter who lived with her mother in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Adam Montgomery claimed he ‘missed’ daughter after allegedly beating her to death

Adam Montgomery accused of buying $400 in equipment to destroy Harmony’s body

Monday 19 February 2024 08:00 , Andrea Blanco

The state’s case has largely hinged on testimony by Montgomery’s estranged wife, as well as DNA evidence of the horrific ways in which he worked to crush, reduce and dispose of Harmony’s remains.

On Thursday, jurors heard about a February 2020 $400 purchase of limestone, a metal-cutting diamond blade, a lithium-ion battery and a power grinder.

Adam Montgomery accused of buying $400 in equipment to destroy Harmony’s body

Harmony Montgomery’s father posted ‘loving’ social media post two years before allegedly punching her to death

Monday 19 February 2024 05:00 , Andrea Blanco

In a 2017 Facebook post, Montgomery posted a picture of himself and Harmony in which the little girl looked happy as she jumped on a trampoline.

“My beautiful baby girl I love you soooooooooooo much,” he wrote.

Adam Montgomery’s ‘loving’ social media post before allegedly killing daughter

Adam Montgomery used quicklime to dissolve body in bathtub

Monday 19 February 2024 02:00 , Andrea Blanco

Montgomery began discussing ways to dispose of Harmony’s body in March 2020, after he and Kayla Montgomery moved to an apartment on Union Street with their children.

“He discussed using a saw to cut her up. He discussed using lime to further decompose her so she couldn’t be found,” the prosecution said during opening statements. “Remember, he believed that if there was no body there could be no evidence and he could get away with this.”

The state said that he compressed the sealed bag with Harmony’s remains and added quicklime to the bag.

“Thinking that it would eat away anything left of her,” the prosecution said. “He spent most of the day in that bathroom compressing Harmony.”

According to the prosecution, Montgomery took Harmony’s frozen remains and put them in the tub, running hot water to further manipulate what was left of the body. Kayla Montgomery then walked inside the bathroom and allegedly saw Montgomery.

She saw that Harmony was largely skin, bones and fluid – and that Mr Montgomery was trying to dispose of her remains down the drain, the prosecution said.

Montgomery took daughter’s rotting remains to work with him

Sunday 18 February 2024 23:00 , Andrea Blanco

After neighbours began to complain about the smell, Montgomery reportedly brought the bag with Harmony’s remains to work with him every day.

At the time, he worked as a cook and dishwasher at the since-closed Portland Pie Company.

“[The bag] stood out to people, because he placed it in the freezer during his shifts,” a prosecutor said. “He brought it with him regularly to work and he stored it in a freezer where the company kept food, and ingredients. People saw him bringing that in and out. They couldn’t have imagined what that bag contained.”

Adam Montgomery’s fingerprints found next to Harmony’s blood

Sunday 18 February 2024 20:00 , Andrea Blanco

After Harmony was killed on 7 December 2019, her father, stepmother Kayla Montgomery, and the couple’s two infant children moved in with Kayla’s mother. At that time, Montgomery reportedly kept Harmony’s remains inside a red freezer with a white lid.

The family later moved to a shelter, where Montgomery then hid Harmony’s body inside a ceiling vent.

“He compressed and contorted her body into this bag,” the prosecution said while showing a medium-sized tote bag.

The state said that when investigators returned to the room two years later, they saw deep blood stains in the ceiling vent and smelled decomposition.

“And surrounding Harmony’s blood, all that was left of her .... the defendant’s fingerprints and palm prints, froze in there for a time,” the prosecution said.

Adam Montgomery’s drug dealer insists he ‘wants to help find who killed Harmony’

Sunday 18 February 2024 17:00 , Andrea Blanco

Anthony Bodero, the friend that Kayla and Adam Montgomery visited on the day that Harmony died, took the stand on Tuesday.

Montgomery is standing trial on murder charges after conceding to two charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information in connection with his daughter’s December 2019 death.

Adam Montgomery’s drug dealer gets into testy exchange on stand

Harmony’s relatives had alerted police of abuse

Saturday 17 February 2024 05:00 , Andrea Blanco

Police interviews with other family members revealed Montgomery was allegedly abusive toward his daughter, including giving her a black eye, forcing her to clean the toilet with her own toothbrush and making her stand in a corner for hours as a punishment.

Montgomery’s brother Michael Montgomery told investigators he “had concerns that Adam was physically abusive” to the child and was “super short” with her.

Kevin Montgomery said he noticed Harmony had a black eye in July 2019, which his nephew confessed to causing by hitting her in the face, according to the criminal complaint.

“I bashed her around this house,” he said his nephew told him.

Kevin said he contacted DCYF that time and had also noticed Mr Montgomery subject Harmony to other forms of “abusive discipline” including scrubbing a toilet with her toothbrush and her being “spanked hard on the butt”.

WATCH: Ex-police officer describes processing car which Harmony Montgomery was murdered in

Saturday 17 February 2024 02:00 , Andrea Blanco

Known to child welfare, a violent father and a child missing for two years: What happened to Harmony Montgomery?

Friday 16 February 2024 22:45 , Andrea Blanco

Five-year-old Harmony Montgomery was last seen around October 2019, but authorities only started searching for her in December 2021.

Nearly a year after a horror affidavit revealed how her father allegedly murdered her, Adam Montgomery is facing trial for the little girl’s killing.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp and Andrea Blanco report:

A missing child, murder and father on trial: What happened to Harmony Montgomery?

Court adjourned for the day

Friday 16 February 2024 20:31 , Andrea Blanco

Defence says someone called tip line

Friday 16 February 2024 20:23 , Andrea Blanco

“During the course of the trial, apparently somebody contacted the tipline and was interviewed, gave information,” Caroline Smith said. “The state has given us a recording of the interview. I have not [gone through it.] We certainly have somebody trying to go through it. I don’t know, and I don’t need to name this person. I don’t know if we’ll be seeking to call this person. It’s sort of a puzzle with sequestration when it’s actually based on watching, as far as I know, the trial.”

The state said they learned about the individual’s tip on Wednesday afternoon.

“Apparently, they called the tip line Tuesday after having watched the trial for several days,” a prosecutor said. “She came into the station to be interviewed and provided a statement.”

The report was sent to prosecutors an hour later.

Judge Amy Messer ordered that the individual be advised she should not continue watching the trial.

Cyber-crime detective takes the stand

Friday 16 February 2024 19:55 , Andrea Blanco

Manchester Police Department Detective Louis Krawczyk told jurors that Adam Montgomery’s Facebook account was logged on one of the phones sold by Small at the Eco-ATM.

Under cross-examination by the defence, Mr Krawczyk elaborates that he can’t say for sure whether the messages were sent from that specific device, and can only testify that the account was accessed on the phone.

Montgomery’s girlfriend sold four devices at Eco-ATM

Friday 16 February 2024 19:09 , Andrea Blanco

Det Adam Bergeron-Rosa Four tells the court four transactions at the Eco-ATM were made by Kelsey Small, Montgomery’s then-girlfriend.

Small, 27, died in March 2022.

Det Bergeron-Rosa said he notified the company that operated the Eco-ATM

Surveillance shows Montgomery and Kayla day before search for Harmony was announced

Friday 16 February 2024 18:46 , Andrea Blanco

Michael Dobe, who worked at the Manchester Walmart, told jurors that he was asked by police to hand over surveillance video from 30 December 2021, the day before the search for Harmony was announced.

In the footage, shown in court, Montgomery, Kayla, and another woman are seen entering the store.

They take turns using an Eco-ATM, which Mr Dobe says is “an electronic pawn shop,” where people can get cash for electronic devices.

 (CourtTV)
(CourtTV)

Adam Montgoery said he ‘missed Harmony’

Friday 16 February 2024 16:30 , Andrea Blanco

Tara Hilbert, the building manager at the FIT shelter, told jurors that she drove Kayla Montgomery to a hotel with her children in 2020.

“Because Adam had beat her pretty bad,” Ms Hilbert said in tears. “Really bad, her eyes, her nose.”

Ms Hilbert said Adam Montgomery had voiced he missed Harmony.

“That conversation came up sort of the topic of him missing her, and you asked, ‘Well, where is she?’,’” defence attorney Caroline Smith asked. “And he said Lowell, Mass.”

Mr Hillbert agreed.

‘Please don’t message me stuff like this on FB again'

Friday 16 February 2024 15:44 , Andrea Blanco

Mr Beach tells the court he’s not sure what Montgomery did with the U-Haul.

“Honestly I felt like I didn’t need to ask, I saw all his stuff packed up,” Mr Beach said. “He said he had problems with DCFS, so I thought he was trying to move.”

Mr Beach messaged Montgomery on Facebook on 4 March 2020, after Montgomery failed to return the U-Haul on time.

“Please don’t message me stuff like this on FB again,” Montgomery messaged.

Mr Beach said that he was not allowed to talk to Kayla Montgomery.

 (CourtTV)
(CourtTV)

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