Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife took the stand on Friday at his trial over the murder of his five-year-old daughter Harmony.
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.
Prosecutors have argued that Montgomery became enraged after Harmony had a bathroom accident in the car the family was living out of following an eviction. Meanwhile, the defence has claimed that Harmony died while under Kayla’s care and that Montgomery only went along with plans to dispose of the body to “protect” her and their two infant sons.
The prosecution’s case hinges on DNA evidence and testimony from Kayla, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison last year on perjury charges for initially lying to law enforcement regarding Harmony’s whereabouts. The state has argued that Kayla was afraid of coming forward with the truth because she was being abused and threatened by Montgomery.
During her testimony on Friday, Kayla recounted the events leading up to Harmony’s murder.
“Adam was getting really angry from Harmony peeing in the car, and he repetitively kept punching her on the way to Burger King,” she told jurors while sobbing. “And there were a couple of red lights, and when at red lights he would, like, go over the driver’s seat in between the passenger seat, and he was just punching her repetitively in the head.”
Harmony’s body was 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 in March 2021. At the time, the family lived in an apartment on Union Square Street.
Kayla alleged that Montgomery discussed using a handsaw, lime and even 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 on to what remained of the little girl.
“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, but Kayla said she saw a “large” bag of lime in the bathroom. According to the prosecution, Montgomery did purchase lime, a metal-cutting blade and a grinder at a Home Depot.
Kayla said that at one point, Montgomery asked her to help him to continue destroying Harmony’s remains, but it was too much for her and she eventually returned to the living room with her two young sons. Montgomery reportedly placed the remains back in the tote bag and inside the freezer again.
“He said that he wanted to get rid of the body soon because he was scared of anything that could happen to him and the kids,” Kayla said.
Kayla told the court Montgomery became paranoid she was talking to police and that he allegedly began abusing her. She recounted an instance in 2021 in which she tried to escape the home where Montgomery allegedly kept her isolated.
Kayla said she had her newborn daughter in her arms and ran to a neighbour’s house to call for help, but Montgomery caught up with her and put her in a chokehold.
“He punched me in the head with his fist,” she said. “At some point, I said I was [talking to police], even though I wasn’t. He said he would contact his family members and have them kill me and cut me in pieces.”
Elsewhere in her testimony, Kayla recounted the work that Montgomery had to put in to obtain custody of Harmony. She also revealed she and Montgomery got married on Harmony’s second birthday on 7 July 2017, and that she had helped decorate Harmony’s room with a Mickey Mouse theme because the little girl liked the cartoon.
“He was working to get custody of her. It took two years,” Kayla said. “[Harmony and I] took pictures and play. We always did silly pictures.”
It is unclear when the abuse started, but Kayla recounted coming home from work on a summer day in 2019 to find Harmony with a black eye.
“I came home from work and I saw her face and it was really red,” Kayla said. “Adam said that she and [my son] were playing and Shamus hit her with a lightsaber by accident.”
Kayla said that Montgomery later acknowledged he had hit Harmony because she had her fingers on her baby brother’s mouth. Kayla said that Montgomery rushed out of the house with Harmony when he saw a DCFS employee approach the home after his uncle contacted the department.
The DCFS employee, who took the stand on Thursday, followed up by phone and once in person before closing the case.
Harmony’s remains have never been found.