The state’s Attorney General John Formella says that investigators now believe the youngster was killed in early December 2019.
Mr Formella said that the “difficult and tragic conclusion” had been reached because of “just recently confirmed biological evidence” in the case. He did not give any details on the nature of that evidence.
Authorities had previously said that Harmony disappeared between 28 November and 10 December 2019, but police did not find out she was missing for two years.
“We understand that this is truly devastating news for Harmony’s family, friends and loved ones. Our hearts go out to them,” Mr Formella said on Thursday.
While Harmony’s remains have not been located, we do have multiple sources of investigative information, including just recently confirmed biological evidence that have led us to this difficult and tragic conclusion.”
The update in the case came almost two months after FBI agents removed a refrigerator wrapped in biohazard tape from a New Hampshire apartment building connected to her disappearance.
In June investigators took over an apartment where Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, and her stepmother Kayla Montgomery, had previously lived.
It is the second time that the property had been searched. Law enforcement searched the property and the garden in January, with a crime scene tent set up in the yard.
New Hampshire investigators taking a refrigerator from Manchester building they’ve been searching as part of the Harmony Montgomery case. The 5 year old who went missing in 2019. #NBC10Boston pic.twitter.com/pM9uOWOaRU
— John Moroney NBC10 Boston (@JohnNBCBoston) June 14, 2022
“Our commitment to bringing Harmony home has not wavered, nor will it,” said Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg at the Thursday press conference.
When Harmony disappeared she was in the legal custody of her father, who has been indicted on an assault charge that he hit the youngster in the face in July 2019.
He is also accused of unrelated firearms theft charges and has pleaded not guilty. No charges relating to Harmony’s disappearance have been filed by prosecutors.
Kayla Montgomery has been charged with two felony counts of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury.
She was previously charged with theft by deception after police said she falsely claimed that her stepdaughter was living with her in order to collect welfare benefits. She pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
The couple told police that Harmony was brought to be with her mother in Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019. Harmony’s mother said she last saw her daughter during a phone video chat at Easter of that year.