Missing 7 year old Harmony Montgomery is not the only the abused and neglected child that the state of New Hampshire has failed to protect from negligent parents. Two adoptive parents in their 50’s were arrested and charged with child endangerment in Salem, NH earlier in the month as well.
Earlier this month, Salem Police arrested the adoptive parents of four children after finding allegedly squalid conditions inside their home at 145 North Main St.
“When entering the home, I was met with a putrid odor that I could equate to the odor of a dead body or rotting garbage,” Det. Jeff Czarnec noted in the arrest warrant affidavit. “Most of the house and rooms also had an odor of what appeared to be urine. The house had numerous flies in just about every room.”
Police charged Francis Lemieux, 58, and Cathy Ann St. Jean-Lemieux, 56, with six counts each of endangering the welfare of a child or incompetent, all misdemeanors, on Jan. 4. When a school nurse identified a number of concerning signs with one child, such as their hygiene, dirty clothes, bug bites, as well as the need for their sibling to have their hair cut at school, they reported the issues to the Division of Children, Youth and Families. The charges were the result of observations by police officers who assisted a state child protective services worker inspect the home on Dec. 14, 2021, a follow-up search warrant executed on Dec. 28, and in response to allegations by one of the children who said they had been physically abused by Lemieux. The alleged victim told caseworkers that Lemieux habitually slapped them in the face. They said this would subside whenever DCYF is alerted and then later happens again with increased frequency.
The children’s ages are 10, 12, 16 and 17, according to Smith. The police report also names three additional people over the age of 18 who were adopted by St. Jean-Lemieux. It’s unclear how the children came to be adopted. DCYF Spokesperson Jake Leon could only confirm that Lemieux and St. Jean-Lemieux are not currently registered as foster parents in the state.
“By statute, I am able to confirm whether an individual or family have a license to serve as foster parents,” Leon said. “According to our records, the individuals cited are not currently licensed as foster parents in the DCYF system.”
For the first visit, Czarnec was asked to assist DCYF caseworker Hailey Gravel and a trainee with the home assessment. Det. Paige Baril came with Czarnec to the home. St. Jean-Lemieux granted permission for Czarnec and Gravel to look inside, but some bedrooms in the back were still off-limits.
“The kitchen was filthy with dishes and dirty water in the sink,” Czarnec reported from the Dec. 14 visit. “A good portion of the walls in the kitchen and living room had stains in various areas. The living room had miscellaneous boxes and items piled up at my approximate chest height, against the wall.”
Save for a few commonly traveled areas, the floors were covered with clothes and items. St. Jean-Lemieux blamed the condition of her home on the children, whom she said created the messes but wouldn’t clean them, and on pain from a leg injury that she said makes it difficult to stand.
In addition to the generally unkempt conditions of the house observed during the first visit, police also noted a child identified as A.L. had been using a yoga mat that was less than an inch thick for a bed. The child would sleep on the mat on the living room floor, according to the report.
Smith said the parents have been released on personal recognizance bail and are set to be arraigned at Salem District Court on Feb. 14.
It’s amazing that DCYF can just throw their hands up in the air and say, “I don’t know how these unlicensed ragamuffins who aren’t in the system managed to adopt at least 7 kids and live with them for over a decade without anyone knowing.” Somehow this is a thing that can happen in New Hampshire. It’s OK though, because the mother is vaccinated.
As long as you get the COVID vaccine and tell the world about it you are a good person.
People who abuse children and allow them to live in squalor and urine while sleeping on yoga mats are monsters. But to then blame the mess on the kids when DCYF comes to your house because they didn’t clean up after themselves because you’re a morbidly obese cheesehog who doesn’t feel like getting off her keester? That’s just demented.
A source we spoke with has known about this family for years too:
I have seen all 5 of these children go through the elementary school. The state has been called numerous times and they go to the house. Problem is, they give them a few weeks heads up. Now because of the Harmony Montgomery case, they have investigated. However, they still have the kids. These children are starved, hit, made to wear clothes 3 sizes too big and not allowed to bathe. The 16 year old was caught in the 1st grade taking food out of the trash at school. The 12 year old would take any food he didn’t eat and put it in his pockets. This includes French fries, chicken nuggets. These faux guardians are horrible turds. And the 17 year old leaves the house at 4:30am to walk to the high school(at least 5 miles away) so he can shower. In this freezing cold.
Just like Erika Murray did a few years ago in Blackstone, Cathy Ann St. Jean-Lemieux plays the loving mother on Facebook who likes quilting, line dancing, and volunteering.
She brags about what a great Christmas she gave them, and all the food they enjoy together.
Except in reality her kids are eating out of the trash at school, they don’t bathe or clean themselves, and their clothes are filthy. It’s OK though because the elderly mother who can’t stand uses a Facebook filter that she supports her kids’ school.
Governor Sununu rightfully criticized the Massachusetts court system for allowing an abusive monster like Adam Montgomery to have custody of his daughter, but he should probably get his own state in order too. It’s simply unacceptable that good people wait years to be able to adopt a child, but these elderly disabled cabbage ratchets can take in 7 kids without anyone in The System even knowing about it.
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