Skeletal remains were found on the Messer farm at the junction of Route DD and Dry Fork Road in Ste. Genevieve County Tuesday evening around dusk by a family member scouting the area in preparation for deer hunting.
Lynn Messer went missing a little more than two years ago. Her husband Kerry Messer, 57, a conservative Jefferson City lobbyist, told investigators he woke up in the early morning hours on July 8, 2014, at his rural home on 250 acres to find his then 52-year-old wife missing.
As days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into months, the search parties eventually slowed and dwindled. In the two years since volunteer searchers had searched approximately 5,000 acres. The initial search by law enforcement comprised approximately 400 acres including and surrounding the farm.
Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer said after the discovery on Tuesday, the FBI was called in to process the entire scene.
“We were called last night and it was discovered by a hunter in the woods who was scouting out hunting locations,” said Stolzer. “When we got there it was dark so we didn’t do anything with the scene. We just identified it was in fact skeletal remains and contacted the FBI.”
Stolzer said the remains were located approximately a mile from the house.
Stolzer said this is still an ongoing investigation and they do believe the skeletal remains found are those of Lynn Messer, but they will not know 100 percent for sure for a few days until all their tests are performed.
Stolzer also said they do not know the cause of death at this time.
“We are no further today on this case, other than we have a body. We don’t know if there was foul play, we don’t know if she just walked off, we don’t know (anything) right now.”
Kerry Messer told the Daily Journal that there were artificial hips and glasses found near the remains.
"If there had not been artificial hips then we would have known immediately it was not Lynn," said Kerry Messer. "It's about as obvious as it can be until we can get scientific data. From my understanding those artificial hip parts have serial numbers in them that will have to be crossed referenced with medical records."
Lynn Messer had undergone two hip replacement surgeries over the years.
Kerry Messer started a dedicated campaign last year to have hunters everywhere pay close attention for such things as small personal items that might otherwise just appear to be trash, but that might be significant in any missing person investigation.
“Right now we are trying to hold ourselves together while we wait for the confirmation, which we suspect is going to be what we fear,” Kerry Messer said Wednesday morning. “This was an area that was searched before and I don’t understand that. Over the last two plus years I have seen numerous stories of the remains of missing persons being found in the exact same spots where they searched with dogs years before. This is going to possibly be one of those cases.”