By KATHY McCORMACK Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The stepmother of a missing New Hampshire girl accused of lying that the child was living with her to collect food stamp benefits faces new, unrelated firearms charges, days after the girl’s father was arrested on similar charges, the attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

Kayla Montgomery, 31, is accused of receiving a rifle and a shotgun between Sept. 29 and Oct. 22 of 2019, knowing that they had been stolen or believing they had probably been stolen.

A message was sent to her lawyer seeking comment.

She has been in jail since January on a felony theft charge. She allegedly told state Health Department workers that her stepdaughter, Harmony Montgomery, was a member of her household from November 2019 to June 2, 2021, and that she received food stamp benefits for Harmony. She’s pleaded not guilty to the theft charge.

Authorities say Harmony Montgomery vanished sometime in late November or early December of 2019 — but authorities didn’t know she was missing until last fall.

“There is no evidence of any connection between the stolen firearms and the disappearance of Harmony Montgomery,” the attorney general’s office said in a news release.

Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, who had custody of his daughter, also has been in jail since January on an assault charge, alleging he struck Harmony in the face in July 2019. He’s pleaded not guilty to that and to two misdemeanor charges of interference with custody and endangering the welfare of a child. He recently was arrested on eight unrelated firearms theft charges stemming from 2019.

The firearms charges against Adam and Kayla Montgomery allege they received the weapons from a person referred to as “C.F.” in court documents.

Kayla and Adam Montgomery are estranged. Both told police that Harmony was brought to her mother in Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019. Her mother said she last saw her daughter during a phone video conversation around Easter that year.

The search for Harmony remains active. The Manchester Police Department’s 24-hour tip line on the case is (603) 203-6060 and there is a reward fund of at least $150,000.

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