Missing girl’s stepmom pleads not guilty to perjury charges
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The stepmother of a New Hampshire girl who disappeared in 2019 at age 5 entered not guilty pleas Monday to two perjury charges accusing her of lying to a grand jury.
Kayla Montgomery, 31, is accused of lying last month to the Hillsborough County grand jury about the location of a prior job and the time of a prior shift, according to court documents. Her lawyer said authorities allege she lied about those details for November or December of 2019, which is about the time they believe Harmony Montgomery went missing.
Kayla Montgomery waived arraignment on the charges and was released after spending the weekend in jail.
She was arrested Friday at the Manchester Police Department when she arrived for a daily check-in. The check-ins are required as part of Montgomery’s bail conditions after she was arrested on unrelated charges of receiving stolen firearms.
Earlier this year, she was charged with theft by deception after police said she falsely claimed that Harmony Montgomery was living with her in order to collect welfare benefits. She pleaded not guilty and was released on bail last month. Lawyers are scheduled to discuss that charge on Thursday.
Authorities didn’t know that Harmony Montgomery was missing until last year. She is still considered a missing person. Her eighth birthday is Tuesday.
Kayla Montgomery pleaded not guilty to the benefits charge and was released on bail last month. In April, lawyers said a plea offer and a counter offer were discussed. A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said “we would not be able to comment” when asked if the new charges would affect those discussions. Montgomery’s attorney did not immediately respond.
Adam Montgomery, Harmony’s father, has been indicted on an assault charge alleging that he struck Harmony in the face in July 2019. He’s also accused of unrelated firearms theft charges and has pleaded not guilty.
The couple, described as estranged, told police that Harmony was brought to be with her mother in Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019. Her mother said she last saw her daughter during a phone video conversation at around Easter that year.
Police have received hundreds of tips. They’re offering $150,000 for information that will lead them to the missing child.