Authorities say skeletal remains discovered last week on the family farm are confirmed to belong to a Missouri Baptist woman missing for more than two years.
According to local media, an anthropologist with the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office positively identified the body as Lynn Messer, 52, who disappeared mysteriously during the night of July 8, 2014, after making crafts in preparation for the second day of Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church of Festus-Crystal City, Mo.
Her husband, Kerry Messer, founder of the Missouri Family Network, said on Facebook that positive identification of remains found by family members scouting a spot for deer hunting was expected to take weeks, but authorities found that Lynn’s dental records used in an unidentified body case in another state a year and a half ago were still available and did not have to be reobtained.
Kerry Messer, who lobbies at the state capital on behalf of conservative organizations including the Missouri Baptist Convention, told the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Mo., he doesn’t understand how extensive searches of the area in July 2014 didn’t discover the body, but in the last two years he has heard of other stories of remains of missing persons being found in the exact spots that had been searched with dogs years before.
The investigation into Lynn Messer’s death has been turned over to the FBI. Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer said now that the remains have been positively identified they will be transported to a lab where experts will further examine the bones for clues of how Messer died.
“We are no further today on this case, other than we have a body,” Stolzer told the Daily Journal. 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 said on Facebook the 28-month missing-person ordeal has taken an understandable toll on his family.
“It’s no wonder our family is torn apart by all the stress,” he said. “And once again — to be the husband of a missing wife is the last person you ever want to be.”