Lynn Messer has been missing for nearly six months now and her husband Kerry Messer says he has been struggling to make it through the holidays without his wife.
Lynn went missing the morning of July 8 with no sign left behind. Kerry, who awoke in the early morning hours, discovered his wife wasn’t in bed or anywhere in the house.
He searched the common spots on the property where Lynn could typically be found in the morning hours and saw no sign. Law enforcement was called in and it quickly turned into a living nightmare for Kerry and his family.
Search parties, rescue teams and a command center was set up on his property in a matter of hours in hopes of locating Lynn. As time wore on, the search parties dwindled and eventually stopped. Kerry has never given up hope and as time went on he found himself unsure of how to conduct himself when it came to things like anniversaries and the holidays.
Kerry said their wedding anniversary was Dec. 22 and that was the first time they had been away from one another in 35 years. He added that it was very hard and he didn’t know the right way to handle things.
“I decided that I didn’t want the important days to pass and be forgotten, so I chose to buy Lynn special gifts as I always have in the past for our special anniversaries that we celebrated each year,” said Kerry. “When she is found, I just want all the special day gifts to be sitting here for her. Some people may think that sounds strange or odd but when you are in a situation like this you just don’t know what to do.
"You don’t know what is appropriate and some days you don’t know what your own heart is trying to tell you. I thought I was going to get her something because I was thinking about a pendent I got for her a few years ago. I went to a particular jewelry store where Lynn and I are close friends with the owner, but when I got there I became so emotional that I couldn’t tell him why I was there so I just visited the owner and then left.”
Kerry posted a story about that pendent on the “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page and how it became Lynn’s favorite necklace. After getting through an anniversary without Lynn he was faced with the Christmas holiday. He said one decision the family made was to not duplicate Lynn’s particular traditions that she has established through the years, but to try to figure out how to create some new traditions.
“My daughter-in-law and sons are more in charge of what those new traditions might look like and try to not to duplicate Lynn in some way,” said Kerry. “It is a double-edged sword with getting everyone together. There are good things to getting together, but there is the pain of everyone realizing that Lynn’s not there. It’s especially hard for her mother, her husband passed away last March so she is dealing with that loss and with Lynn missing. I will be glad to get on the other side of these holidays and get into January.”
Kerry said ironically, some of the members of the legislature have been lobbying him to get back into the capitol and it will be a hard legislative year coming up, but he thinks that he might do better with the distraction of trying to get something done at the capitol while at the same time continuing to pray for some kind of resolve to what has happened with Lynn.
“I’m supposed to be the lobbyist, yet they are the ones lobbying me to come back to help them,” said Kerry. “The first day of the legislative session is Jan. 7 and that will be the six-month anniversary mark of Lynn’s disappearance.”
Kerry typically consults with the lead detective on the case each week and they go over what leads they have been checking on. They are constantly picking their brains and other people’s minds for ideas on what else they could do or where they could look.
“I have to praise the Lord and publicly thank the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department,” said Kerry. “Because of them I’m getting more and more connected to the organizations that are out there on behalf of missing persons.
"They are focused on the issues that these families go through and I realize the support we are getting from our law enforcement seems to far exceed what the average person experiences. I don’t know how to appropriately thank our local sheriff’s department for the degree of engagement. They are constantly reaching out to other law enforcement agencies at all levels seeking additional advice, help, counsel or anything to make sure they are not overlooking anything.”
Lynn seems to be the only long-term missing person in Ste. Genevieve County and the sheriff’s department has taken the position that they want to learn from anybody they can learn from to make sure they are handling the case as thoroughly as possible. There are over 100,000 missing persons in this country and somewhere between 500 and 1,000 missing people in Missouri alone.
“It gives me comfort to know that they have not forgotten about us and they are very engaged,” said Kerry. “That’s why I’m always thrilled that we are calling each other every week and communicating on a regular basis.”
A simple craft project was posted to the Facebook page. It’s an ornament that has Lynn’s picture on one side and words on the other. Kerry said it’s a prayer ornament or prayer reminder that can be hung from a rear-view mirror, a kitchen window or even on the Christmas tree.
“It’s just a simple piece of paper that people can print and cut out this ornament,” said Kerry. “It can be folded on one side and hung anywhere. It has an outline of the family and law enforcement on the backside and can be used as a reminder to pray for Lynn.”
Visit the Facebook page “Find Lynn Messer” where Kerry posts his thoughts, feelings and pleas for the world to read. Anyone with any information or sightings of Lynn Messer is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Ste. Genevieve Sheriff’s Department tip line at 573-883-5820 Ext. 27463.