It’s been well over a month, 43 days to be exact, since 52-year-old Lynn Messer went missing from her families Ste. Genevieve home.

The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department spearheaded searches for several days. In the weeks since the initial effort groups of friends, family and neighbors have performed ongoing searches in the area around the family's home. Now the decision has been made to scale back those efforts.

After the authorities were done with their searches, volunteers took over and combed over the area once more. Since then volunteers have expanded the search area to encompass a wider swath. They've also asked everyone to share a missing person flyer about Lynn and keep a look out, no matter what area they are in.

Kerry Messer, Lynn's husband, made a sad announcement on the “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page. He said this was a painful message to post and the reality is almost too overwhelming to admit.

“I knew this day would come if Lynn were not to be found first,” wrote Kerry earlier this week. “Honestly I feared it would have come sooner – and I count it as a huge blessing to have had so many people helping us for so long! But with each passing week there has been a marked decline in the number of volunteers who have been available to brave the brush and thickets, the scratches and cuts. So many friends have invested themselves and paid their own way by the sweat of their brow. Most have spent hours only to return soaked in sweat.”

“I am unspeakably indebted to every one of you – for every ounce of effort you have labored - for every drop of sweat – for every scratch and tick bite – and for the love which has pushed you to help! I also owe deep gratitude to all of you who have been so remarkable in the way you have helped organize, manage, feed, and take care of everything from cleaning to caring for animals, and all the many details that you have stepped forward to do – all without ever being asked!”

He went on to say that as the numbers have dwindled and the pace has slowed, there was one day last week in which no one was able to come help. On that day he had to face the reality of what he already knew, but was not wishing to face.

Messer plans to still continue with the weekend ground searches of farms and forests in the region. He asked that the efforts to make the general public aware by posting flyers and keeping the information about Lynn before the public continue.

“My heart is very heavy,” said Kerry. “Admittedly, I have gone through more Kleenexes these last 41 days than I have in my entire lifetime, a very hard and humbling admission for me and I know how you have been shedding your own tears, and praying with your own wounded heart.”

The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate leads as tips come in on the hotline. Sheriff Gary Stolzer said his department has been following every lead they receive in the case.

“There has been no new developments in the case at this time,” said Stolzer. “We have sent computers off and different things to have tested and analyzed by other people, but the case is just taking its course. We will continue to look into any leads we receive.”

Anyone with any information concerning the disappearance of Lynn Messer is asked to contact the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department’s tip line at 573-883-5820, ext 27463.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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