More than two years after Lynn Messer went missing from her home in northern Ste. Genevieve County, her remains were discovered on the family’s 268-acre property last week, less than one mile from the house.
Messer was 52 years old at the time of her disappearance on July 8, 2014. Searchers combed the property and the region for days in the search for Messer, whose husband Kerry frequently updated a Facebook page — “FindLynnMesser” — designed to call attention to the search.
Aarron Messer, one of the sons of Kerry and Lynn Messer, said on social media that he and his teenage daughters found the remains on the evening of November 1 while scouting for potential deer hunting locations on the property.
The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office was contacted that evening and secured the scene. A forensics team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation was on hand November 2 to assist with the investigation.
The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday that it had been informed by the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office that the remains were positively identified as those of Lynn Messer.
“Closure and a new chapter for the Messer family has finally come today,” the release from the Sheriff’s Office stated. “The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office is relieved that Lynn has been found and would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends that have been affected by her disappearance.
“We would like to thank all the agencies who assisted us and the community support in trying to find her over the past years.”
But with the discovery of Lynn Messer’s remains, many questions remain unanswered.
As Kerry Messer wrote on the website dedicated to his wife: “The discovery of Ma’s remains, and a positive identification does absolutely nothing to address questions of ‘how,’ ‘why,’ or possibly even ‘who’?”
The Messer family has been splintered — something Kerry Messer eluded to in the post — with his son Abram again last week calling on Kerry Messer to be more open with regard to the circumstances.
Sheriff Gary Stolzer said last week the investigation was still open.
“We really don’t know anything until we get those reports back,” Stolzer said in reference to forensics work being done by pathologists. “It’s going to be an open case until we figure it out.”
He said it was possible Lynn Messer had been in that location the entire time and not been detected.
“I think it was possible she was there from the get-go,” Stolzer said. “From what I’ve seen, I would say it’s totally plausible she was there, but the experts may come up with a different theory on it.”
Stolzer said there were medications around her — Kerry Messer had alluded to pain medication she was taking related to recent hip replacement surgery — but that it was unknown if those items played a role in her death.
“Could she have killed herself with pills or whatever? I don’t know,” Stolzer said. “We don’t even know what was in some of the clothing and different things we found. When you’re on a scene like that, you retrieve it but you wouldn’t rip it open.”
He said that is part of the lab work being done on the case.
A post last Friday on the FindLynnMesser Facebook page, “billed as the only official family and authority-sanctioned page,” said dental records confirmed the remains were Lynn Messer’s.
See complete story in the November 9 edition of the Herald.