Skeletal remains found near Missouri home of missing woman

STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KPLR) - A family member may have discovered the remains of 52-year-old Lynn Messer missing from her rural home since July 2014.  Saint Genevieve County authorities confirm bones found on the Messer family farm are human. They were located in a heavily wooded area near the edge of the family's property off State Route DD.  Saint Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer said the family member was scouting the woods for a future deer hunt when he came across the bones. Sheriff deputies responded Tuesday night, cordoned off the area and secured the property. Wednesday morning the FBI sent a forensics team to assist in the investigation.

"The FBI had the manpower and the equipment to help us do a thorough investigation of the spot and make sure we didn't leave anything behind," said the sheriff.  The county will contract with a pathologist to identify the remains and attempt to determine the cause of death.  It is not clear how long that process might take.

Lynn Messer had health problems and was suffering from a broken toe at the time she disappeared. She left her home with no personal belongings.

County first responders sought help from the Missouri Highway Patrol, canine teams and volunteers when they launched an intensive search for Messer in July 2014. Messer's husband Kerry Messer posted a message on the "find Lynn Messer "Facebook page thanking people for their prayers. He also noted "many questions hang in the air as to how this could have not been found in the beginning? We are praying for answers to this and many more questions."

Sheriff Stolzer said, "a lot of people searched a lot of area here and we feel this area was search well too," however he noted, "when you are looking for something in the woods or anywhere in a river it is really tough."

A post by Kerry Messer to the 'Find Lynn Messer' Facebook page says:

"Thank You" to all who have faithfully remained prayerful through this difficult season. Last night and today “appears” to mark the beginning of a new phase in this awful journey. As the biggest question of the past 2 years and 4 months “may” be coming to some kind of an answer, a whole new set of questions are emerging… Your continued prayers are still requested.

It appears very “probable” that the remains of Lynn's body “may” have been found. An FBI forensics team has been on location just under a mile from our home. This location is very close to the back border of the farm (as I have been told). We have no idea how long it may take for them to process the "scene" (This is now the third year of leaf litter coming down), and I have absolutely no idea how large of an area is being "processed". (I/we are not allowed in the area.)

A skull and other bones were found late afternoon yesterday, Tuesday. I have been told there were a couple of other items which cause us to believe these “most likely” are Lynn's remains. The location was searched extensively by law enforcement and the professional teams before they handed the searching over to the family after they spent four days combing the farm and other key areas. Many questions hang in the air as to how this could have not been found in the beginning? We are praying for answers to this and many more questions.

Since later this morning, Wednesday, when the forensics team arrived, and early afternoon, I have been told the remains do in fact have artificial hips (as well as eye glasses) - but it will take several days, weeks, or even up to a couple of months to confirm this is absolutely Lynn. With what I have been told, it would appear almost certainly to be her, but absolute confirmation must be established as we hold our breaths.

Please be in prayer for our family, which has been torn apart by all the stress and circumstances surrounding this past 28 months ordeal. I have no idea what will transpire moving forward from today. However the critics are going wild with accusations and the media is hounding...

Please pray that somehow and in some way The Lord is glorified through all of this mess, and that I can manage to behave as an ambassador of Christ.

Kerry Messer