Devout Christian mother & grandmother walks out of her home amid a thunderstorm in the early morning hours of July 8, 2014. Through the downpour, across the muddy fields, through the gates, and past the electric fences, Lynn Messer’s body was found a mile from her home two years later. How did she get there with double hip replacements and a broken toe? Why were all of her belongings found at home including her medical walking boot?
Lynn Messer lived on a nearly 30-acre farm in Bloomsdale, Missouri with her husband, Kerry. Over three decades of marriage provided the couple with two boys. They were a farming family working from sun up to sun down, and Lynn loved it. Her husband, however, spent much of his time in Jefferson City as a conservative lobbyist for Christian and family values. He was an advocate for homeschooling, gun rights, right to life and so on. From the outside, it looked like the perfect family, but looks can be deceiving.
Around 4 am on the morning of July 8th, Kerry Messer said he was awakened by the thunderstorm and noticed his wife wasn’t in bed. This wasn’t unusual since she had trouble sleeping sometimes. He expected she was downstairs sewing or working on one of her many projects. When he looked throughout the entire house, he became alarmed and drove the half mile across the farm to where his youngest son, Abram lived with his wife, Elizabeth. A bleary-eyed Abram answered the door expecting the news to be horrible, but instead, his father pointed towards an ATV parked by the house.
“Did you bring that home last night or this morning?”
Abram stood there a little confused before explaining that he had driven the ATV home after work the night before as he had done on many occasions. Kerry walked back towards his truck and before climbing in he turned and told his son that he couldn’t find his mother. By 8:15 both of Kerry and Lynn’s sons were on the farm looking for their mother. The eldest son, Aaron called the authorities in to help. In the meantime, Kerry sent Abram out to rotate the cattle and send them into the other field. Why this was important at the moment, Abram wasn’t sure, but he followed through and did what his father asked him to do.
The local authorities searched, and they called in help from bigger counties to help. The entire farm was laid out in a grid pattern, and volunteers formed a line marching across the farm not once, but three times. The beloved 52-year-old grandmother was gone. For the next two years, the police investigate the case tirelessly, but no answers came. The search dogs had picked up Lynn’s trail at one point, but it was quickly lost.
Meanwhile, the devoted husband and political activist ran a Facebook page in honor of his missing wife. Every day he posted a biblical scripture reference, a picture of his wife, and a short story of their life together. Every moment with her was beautiful except for one problem. Some of the family members seem to remember these brief recaps of Lynn’s life very differently from the way the grieving widower portrayed them. When comments were made to contradict Kerry the comments would be hidden or deleted. The page is strictly censored, and some family members felt excluded entirely.
Two years after she went missing, Lynn Messer’s remains were found on the edge of her property about a mile from the house. In a sad twist of fate, it was her son and grandkids that found Lynn’s skeletal remains. A week later Kerry granted an interview for the local media still quoting scripture and proclaiming his wife into the hands of God, but many in the community were beginning to suspect the worst.
To make matters even worse, Kerry shocks everyone when he announces his marriage to a family friend in 2018. He adamantly proclaims that the relationship began after Lynn disappeared, but the family is skeptical and claims he was acting strangely around this woman for a long while before Lynn’s death. While I’m not saying he is guilty, but it does make the deal look a little worse for the husband of a missing woman.
Abram has taken the difficult stance and has publicly stated that he feels his father is hiding the truth. Instead of talking to his son about his feelings, he fires his youngest son and kicks them out of the house on the farm that they had lived in for twelve years. You can’t blame anyone for looking at the husband as a suspect. It’s standard procedure to eliminate those closest to the victim first.
The fighting between family members reached a boiling point at the time of Lynn’s memorial service. Many people weren’t allowed to attend the ceremony for their loved one. This wasn’t going to end well. Finally, after petitioning the church, the memorial service was canceled until the family could work it out.
During all the chaos one question remains. What happened to Lynn Messer? There have been several theories pop up, and I will address a few of them.
She had a habit of going for long walks when she was stressed out. Why would she go during a thunderstorm at four in the morning? She had a minor foot injury. If she was going for a walk in the woods would it not be wise to wear the medical footwear to protect her toe?
Perhaps she had accidentally taken the wrong medication and had an adverse side effect. Six months before her death, Lynn had a minor car accident when she had taken a sleeping pill by mistake. I don’t think if she took a sleeping pill she would have wondered a mile away from the house, but who knows. This theory cannot be thoroughly debunked.
She wondered outside to commit suicide. Lynn battled depression and had dealt with it for many years. Her son claims she had been on antidepressants for a decade or more. Here is the problem with this theory and it involved the actions of her husband on the morning of her disappearance.
The police ask Kerry the standard questions when they ask him if his wife had a history of depression. Kerry fired back a quick hateful no. The officer asked if she had ever taken antidepressants and received another firey negative response. Abram was quick to rebuff his father’s statements and claimed that his mom had taken antidepressants for years. Why did Kerry respond this way? Was he embarrassed by his wife’s issues? Why would he lie? When the officer asked if Lynn had ever tried to harm herself, he received the same heated response, but when they questioned Abram and his wife they found that Lynn had thought about suicide six months prior.
This one is brought up by Abram in a newspaper article in the Missouri Times. He noticed a marked difference in his mother’s stress levels before her disappearance but blamed it on her father’s death several months earlier. This is all before anyone ever knew about the future girlfriend. Lynn had called a close friend who she called asking for prayer. Then Lynn went to see this longtime family friend. Afterward, Lynn’s stress levels increased dramatically. Even before Lynn’s disappearance, Abram commented on how his father acted around this family friend. Now, this family friend is his stepmother. Why did Lynn feel the need to visit this person and why was she so stressed afterward? Why did she disappear two weeks later?
Lynn Messer having suffered great emotional stressed walked into the woods and took her own life. Afterward the devoted, highly conservative husband not wanting her reputation tarnished covered up the entire thing.
I will leave the theories to you, but after four long years, Lynn Messer is still waiting for justice. Her remains were sent for examination, and the ruling came back as undetermined. Will we ever find out what happened to her? Was her husband unjustly accused, or is the powerful lobbyist hiding a dark secret? Only time will tell.
As always if you have any information about this case, please contact the Ste. Genevieve County Sherrif’s Office at 573-883-5820
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