Son shares another perspective on disappearance

It's been exactly two weeks since Lynn Messer went missing and she still hasn’t been located. The search is still on for Messer as the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department continues their investigation and family members, friends and volunteers continue combing the landscape.

According to a press release that was issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the 52-year-old Ste. Genevieve County woman is "approximately 5-feet-tall, weighs 150 pounds and has graying blonde hair and green eyes. She has a broken right toe and does not have her walking boot with her. Messer’s purse, cell phone and other personal items were left at her home. Evidence at the scene indicates she may be in physical danger."

Timeline of Events

It all started on July 8 when Messer’s husband awoke at 4 a.m. to discover his wife missing. He searched the home and around the property where she would typically be. Around 10 a.m. that morning the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department was called in to help with the search.

Within hours the St. Louis Regional Command Post and Eureka Search and Rescue was assisting along with K-9 teams, local fire departments and volunteers. They were doing searches with the dogs and searchers were carrying GPS units on them so the command center knew what areas were being covered and how dense they were covering them.

Once one crew would get done with an area they would send another crew back in the same area with new eyes and different dogs. Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer joined the highway patrol in the helicopter helping with an aerial search as ground crews waited orders to search areas he thought needed additional attention.

A massive search of the 270-acre Messer farm was conducted along with surrounding acreage, roads and ponds.

On July 10 a Facebook page had been created. The page was titled, “Find Lynn Messer,” and its original purpose was to keep the public up to date on the latest news regarding the missing woman and to provide a way for volunteers to contact the family to assist with the search. Within four hours of creating the page it had already received over 1,000 likes, as well as an outpouring of support, monetary donations and supplies. Less than two hours later the page was removed.

Then on July 11, less than 24 hours later, the page was back up and running. There was never any comment as to why the page had been removed in the first place but it was obvious Lynn’s husband was now handling the page. His thoughts, prayers and words filled the wall of the Facebook page asking for volunteers to come and help with the ongoing search. There were also daily updates of the searches and items needed by the volunteers.

On July 15, exactly one week after Lynn’s disappearance, authorities conducted checkpoints north and south of the Messer family farm early that morning to try to learn information about her disappearance. The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office conducted two check points between midnight and 8 a.m. asking motorists for any observations they may have made the week prior during the same time. Several tips were followed up on.

Then on July 16 a formal press release was issued by the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department and a note was made on the “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page that there was a special announcement that a press conference would take place at 10 a.m. the following morning but there would be a gathering prior to it at 9 a.m. at the church just down the road. The page read: “We will be having a press conference with Kerry Messer and the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff's office. Anyone is welcome to join us at 9 am at First Baptist Church Ste. Genevieve, just up the road from the sheriff's department, a quarter mile. We will explain how things are going to work then go together to the sheriff's department.”

The morning of July 17 several media outlets gathered in front of the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department where a podium was set up in front of the entrance. Missouri State Highway Patrol Spokesperson Juston Wheetley read the formal press release sent out to everyone the day before. He then introduced Kerry Messer to the media. Kerry took the podium and read his prepared speech to the cameras and audience. He even directly addressed Lynn during his speech.

Once Kerry was done, Wheetley took over to answer questions about the ongoing case. Kerry also took questions from the media as well.

The related press release stated, "Information in regards to this ongoing investigation cannot be released at this time. All possible reasons or occurrences leading to Lynn Marie Messer’s disappearance will be investigated."

According to Stolzer search parties have expanded to other areas of dense woods, area homes, outbuildings and other properties.

The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office has set up a tip line to receive any information from the public that may be useful in finding Lynn. The tip line number is 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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