In a time where family should pull together, the Messer family has found themselves distant from one another.

Since the disappearance of his mother, Abram Messer has fought to find answers to even the oddest of questions.

Abram said about a month or so after his mother went missing, they had gotten some rain and the creek that runs through the farm rose. 

“So we got a heavy rain and the creek rose and went right back down quickly,” explained Abram. “We immediately changed the searching that we were doing, to do extra walking up and down the creeks and the surrounding creeks, including the creek that runs through the farm.”

Abram said he took a group and walked 9-plus miles back up the creeks and another group walked up and down the creek on the far end of the farm.

“They found a towel in the edge of the creek (on the back corner of the farm) that had been washed up,” Abram said. “One of the reasons we were rechecking all of the creeks is because we were hoping and praying if she was out there somewhere, there might have been something, anything that could have been washed down in that significant rain.

“(After the towel was spotted) I grabbed my father and my uncle Jim, who was helping me organize all the searching, and we rushed down there,” Abram recalled. “We get up to this towel that is laying in the edge of the grass, which had obviously been washed up there and my father walks up to the towel and says, ‘has anybody touched it?’ I told him no, because that was one of the first questions I asked the folks who discovered it originally.”

Abram explained that they needed to get the detectives out there.

“My father said ‘well I’m going to touch it’ and he reached down and picked it up,” remembered Abram. “Keep in mind this is early August, it’s sweltering hot outside and we are all drenched in sweat. My father picks up this towel, rubs it all over his face, then he rubs it up and down both of his arms, wipes all the sweat off of him, he rubs the back of his neck and then he takes the towel and says he doesn’t think this is anything.”

Abram said Kerry said it was some towel that a searcher must have dropped.

“As he is saying this, he is vigorously rubbing the towel up and down on the outside of his chest,” recalled Abram. “That was one of the major light bulb moments, if you will, for me. That behavior was so bizarre, even if you did not think that the towel was necessarily associated with the disappearance, the simple fact that he was completely unwilling to even find out. Never mind the fact I’m looking this plain white towel knowing that it matches the other five or 10 plain white towels that they have under their cabinet.”

Abram said they now understand the location of that towel was a few hundred yards downhill from where his mother was discovered. 

"We had been searching, begging, hoping and praying that we would find something, anything and we did. There is no doubt in my mind, I feel very, very confident, saying publicly and openly that my father has taken very direct active steps into destroying the trail of evidence.”

The cows

Abram went on to discuss another incident that took place that he now questions.

“On the morning of July 8 (when Lynn disappeared), my wife saw my father out in the field with the cows, up by our old house, and he was driving around checking on the cows,” described Abram. “He drove over and he checked on the water, he was checking on the cows. He was in no hurry, he wasn’t rushing. When he saw my wife Elizabeth out on the porch, he drove over to the edge of the field that was closer to our old house.”

Elizabeth got up and walked over to the edge of the porch and Kerry shrugged his shoulders, turned around and slowly drove away. Abram said there was no sense of urgency in anything that he was doing.

“Later, around a quarter to 8 a.m. when he finally did contact me, he insisted that I go and move the cows,” explained Abram. “He told me not to come down to his house. He told me that he just needed for me to move the cows and then go back home and not to go down there.”

Abram said the field he was supposed to move the cows into was the bottom field. Abram would later discover that moving the cows had completely destroyed the scent trail that the search dogs had followed away from his parent’s house.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but I knew the sheriff’s department was very unhappy that the cows had been moved into that field,” remembered Abram. “They were finally able to convince my father to move the cows out of that field and he moved the cows into the furthest back field, right where she was discovered.”

Abram said from the field where the cows were located, his dad could have easily moved them into five different fields, but he chose to move them into the one field where his mother lie apparently 50 yards from the edge of the field.

“My question would be, if moving the cows that morning was so important and such a big deal, why didn’t he simply move the cows when he was in the field with the cows that morning checking on them?” said Abram. “Why did he deliberately wait and insist that I move the cows? Not only insist that I move the cows, but insist I move the cows and go back home which of course I did not do. I moved the cows and then went down there and that is when he yelled at me and told me I had to go home because my brother had just called law enforcement (to report Lynn missing).”

Abram recalled that his father was absolutely irate that his brother had called law enforcement. He said there is no doubt in his mind that Kerry took very active steps to try and deliberately destroy forensic evidence.

“Volunteers did not search the farm, not the entire farm,” Abram added. “It was the official search and rescue teams that searched the farm. I believe that we will know relatively easily if she has in fact been on the farm for two and a half years. We should know that relatively easily because the search and rescue teams were all equipped with GPS trackers. So somewhere they have a map of every single place on that farm those search teams went.”

Abram believes they will take the map law enforcement has and they will overlay it with the coordinates of where Lynn was discovered.

“That will tell us one of two things. Either she was simply overlooked or missed or it will tell us she was not missed because she was not there,” said Abram. “I am heartbroken seeing my father’s actions over the last two and a half years. I love my parents. I love my mother and I love my father. It’s the deepest desire of my heart to see my father restored, but the first step in that means that he is going to have to tell the truth. The first step must be getting our hearts right with God. If he does that, then everything else can follow.”

Abram stressed the reality that they may not able to gather enough forensic evidence to demonstrate or definitively prove anything. 

“If my mother swallowed a whole bottle of pills and walked out of the house and my father disposed of the empty bottle and moved her body to the other end of the farm because Aaron and I interrupted him and what he was planning to do,” hypothesized Abram, “which would completely explain how irate he was that law enforcement had been called. It would also explain how his lies and how far he has gone in denying that she struggled with any mental health issues of any kind.”

He added that would explain his behavior with refusing to search. 

“To acknowledge that my father most likely has had full knowledge of everything that has transpired,” Abram went on. “Not only did he cover it (up), not only did he manipulate evidence, but to know that he allowed us all to go through all of these months and years of torture. Knowing that he allowed all of these friends, family and us to go through these months and months of extended searching.”

Abram believes his father has been very deliberately trying to frame him.

“Why on earth would he do that, what could possibly motivate him to that?,” asked Abram. “Well, I am the only one who could definitively say yes this happened, yes I was aware of this and yes I know because I was there. I have to go, that is why he fired me that is why he kicked me out of our home that my grandfather gave us. That is why he has done half of the things he has done that are deliberately targeted at me because I am the only real threat.”

He said that is why after talking with law enforcement he felt it necessary to get a protection order against his father.

“As we began to develop the belief that we were probably coming close to something, we knew the more desperate he would become to keep us quiet,” Abram said sternly. “I will protect my children and I will protect my wife. Even if it means having to protect them from my own father.”

New relationship

Abram also discussed a new relationship that his father has engaged in since his mother’s disappearance, a relationship he feels that has been going on much longer that everyone is led to believe.

“Anytime I say anything about Spring he gets mad,” said Abram. “I realized something was off when we were searching and my father made a big announcement that he was not going to let females come into his house.”

Abram explained his father was so stringent he would not allow his mother-in-law, Abram’s grandmother, to come inside and sit in the air conditioning where he was sitting.

“He made her sit out in the 100-degree heat, but yet when Spring was there doing searching, Spring was the one going around telling people that when she got her feet wet, my father took her into his house, dried her feet off and gave her a dry pair of socks and dry shoes to wear,” recalled Abram.

He said she was the one telling people that.

“But when I pointed that out to my father that is when he started to get upset,” added Abram. “When I said anything at all about Spring he would get upset and that is something that has been proven to be true over and over again. That to me, only confirms what we know now and that is this relationship with Spring has been ongoing.”

Abram said there is no doubt in his mind whatsoever that it was going on for a significant amount of time before his mother went missing.

“I’m saying that not just because of knowing that six weeks after my mother disappeared, Spring admitted to law enforcement that they are already in a relationship,” remembered Abram. “Also looking back, before I ever found any of that out, I told my father in 2014 that I did not believe his behavior around Spring was appropriate. I was the one going up there with him to work on the fencing and to work with the cattle and saw Spring and my father interact on a routine basis.”

Abram described Spring acting like a giddy little school girl around his father and it was plain and obvious to him seeing how his father was just eating up that attention.

“I called him out on it and when I did he immediately lost his cool,” said Abram. “... That is aside from the fact we would go up to Spring’s house to work with the cattle or to work on the fences. When the cows were up there we would go every other week. We were up there quite a bit.”

Abram stressed when they would go to work on the fences, he knew what that meant. That meant he was going to work on the fences and easily 50 percent of the time they were up there his father would be off with Spring in her house or in her barn or someplace else.

“I would be out cutting and hauling brush or I would be out fixing fences while he was off alone with Spring,” recalled Abram. “So you will never convince me that this was something new that developed six weeks after my mother went missing."

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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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