New details have been released on the disappearance of Lynn Messer after some of the results came back from forensic testing that was done on her remains.
Lynn Messer went missing more than two years ago on July 8. Her husband Kerry Messer, 57, a conservative Jefferson City lobbyist, woke in the early morning hours at his Ste. Genevieve home to find his then 52-year-old wife missing.
Lynn’s remains were discovered on Nov. 1, 2016, in the woods on the back edge of one of the family farm's cow pastures. One of her sons was scouting for areas to hunt. The woods were immediately considered a crime scene and the sheriff’s department, along with the FBI, collected forensic evidence to help find answers.
Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department Major Jason Schott said Thursday evening that they have finally received word back on Lynn’s remains from the St. Louis County Chief Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist Dr. Mary Case.
“She sent a report back on what she did and from what Dr. Mary Case could determine from the bones recovered, it does appear (Lynn) was out there for the two year time period,” said Schott. “From the time she disappeared until the time she was discovered.”
“Nothing has come back saying the absolutely definitive cause of death,” said Schott. “We are sending off hair samples that were also recovered when we recovered the body. Those are being sent off for toxicology testing. I’m not sure how the testing will work, but I do believe the medical examiner feels it will produce some answers. We are trying to see if anything will come back on the toxicology report.
“A lot of things have transpired from the point they discovered body up until this point, so I don’t know all the details.”
Schott said at this time they haven’t been able to determine the cause of death and the case will remain open until they can.
“I don’t see us closing this case any time soon,” said Schott. “We will keep it open as long as there is some sort of information, no matter how fast or slow it is coming in. Our intent at this point is to keep it open until we determine what actually happened."
Schott said all the items located with Lynn’s remains were collected and picked up by the FBI Forensic Team. They either took them or the sheriff’s department sent them to the Missouri State Highway Patrol crime lab and the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s office.
An intense investigation started the morning Lynn was reported missing and after Kerry searched the common areas around their 250 acre farm where she would normally be found.
The Messer farm soon turned into a command post where St. Louis Regional Command Post, Eureka Search and Rescue, along with K-9 teams, local fire departments and volunteers were all on scene searching full force for his wife.
As days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months the search parties had slowly dwindled down and less folks were going out to volunteer their time. Volunteer searchers have searched approximately 5,000 acres. During the initial search by law enforcement, they searched approximately 400 acres surrounding the farm.
A break in the case came when Lynn's son discovered the human remains just before the fall deer season this past year.
For the time being Lynn’s remains will stay in the custody of the sheriff’s department and may be released to the family sometime in the future.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org