A jury convicted a New Hampshire man Thursday of murder in the death of his 5-year-old daughter who authorities say was killed in 2019, almost two years before she was reported missing and never found.

Adam Montgomery, 34, did not attend the trial and wasn’t present when jurors returned their verdict. He had proclaimed his innocence, saying in court last year in an unrelated case that he loves his daughter Harmony Montgomery “unconditionally.”

On Thursday, the jury found Montgomery guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree assault, falsifying physical evidence, abuse of a corpse and tampering with witnesses and informants.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday called Montgomery a “monster” on the platform X.

“I am grateful to the judge, jury, and Department of Justice for delivering justice for Harmony,” he said. “Adam Montgomery is a monster and deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.”

The state’s Attorney General John Formella said in a Thursday statement Harmony “did not deserve the tragic fate that she suffered.”

 “Today our thoughts are focused on the memory and legacy of Harmony Montgomery, a little girl who did not deserve the tragic fate that she suffered. Our hearts go out to Harmony’s family and all those who knew and loved her, and we hope today brings them some closure and peace,” the statement said.

Montgomery’s attorneys earlier acknowledged his guilt on two lesser charges, that he “purposely and unlawfully removed, concealed or destroyed” her corpse and falsified physical evidence, but said he didn’t kill Harmony.

Investigators believe Harmony was slain in December 2019, though she wasn’t reported missing for almost two years. Kayla Montgomery, the girl’s stepdaughter, testified that the body was hidden in the trunk of a car, a cooler, a ceiling vent, and a workplace freezer before Adam disposed of it.

Adam Montgomery had custody of Harmony. Her mother, who was no longer in a relationship with him, said the last time she saw Harmony was during a video call in April 2019. She eventually went to police, who announced they were looking for the missing child on New Year’s Eve 2021.

Photos of Harmony were widely circulated on social media. Police eventually determined she had been killed.

Kayla Montgomery is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury charges related to the investigation into the child’s disappearance and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. She testified that that her husband killed Harmony on Dec. 7, 2019, while the family lived in their car after being evicted from their home.

Kayla testified that Adam repeatedly punched Harmony in the face and head because he was angry that she was having bathroom accidents in the car.

The couple noticed Harmony was dead hours later when the car broke down, at which time Adam Montgomery put her body in a duffel bag, Kayla had testified.

For the next three months, she testified, Adam moved the body from container to container and place to place. According to his wife, the locations included the trunk of a friend’s car, a cooler in the hallway of his mother-in-law’s apartment building, the ceiling vent of a homeless shelter and a workplace freezer.

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