Search for lobbyist’s wife in second week

A Thursday press conference asked the public for help in the search for the wife of a conservative lobbyist missing from the family’s farm for more than a week.

By Bob Allen

A conservative Baptist lobbyist in Missouri has vowed to continue searching for his missing wife, who disappeared July 8 without a trace from their home on a 270-acre family farm an hour south of St. Louis.

“Lynn, if you can see this: We love you. I love you. I love you to the bottom of my heart,” Kerry Messer, president of the Missouri Family Network and lobbyist for the Missouri Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission, spoke into cameras covering a press conference July 17 sponsored by the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office.

lynn messerMesser says he woke up around 4 a.m. on July 8 to discover his wife of 34 years, 52-year-old Lynn Messer, was nowhere to be found. Her cell phone, purse and house keys were all left behind, along with a walking boot she had been wearing while nursing a broken toe.

A 48-hour search of the farm and surrounding acreage produced nothing. A “Find Lynn Messer” page on Facebook sought help from the community, asking volunteers to join in organized searches and check their own properties.

Police issued an Endangered Person Advisory, conducted traffic check points and established a tip line for anyone who might have information about her whereabouts.

“I want to you know we are looking, we’re searching,” Messer continued in the message directed to his missing wife. “We’re not going to quit until we find you. If you can respond in any way to let us know something, do so. If you’re in a situation where you can’t respond, don’t despair, we are not going to stop looking.”

Police say they do not suspect foul play at this time, but they “are taking any and all scenarios into account.” Lynn Messer reportedly has no history of mental problems, like dementia, that would cause her to wander away.

Search dogs picked up her scent, but it was everywhere, because she is an active farmer and had been all over the property in the previous few days.

The couple attends First Baptist Church of Festus-Crystal City, where Lynn Messer reportedly had worked at Vacation Bible School the day before her disappearance.

Kerry Messer founded the Missouri Family Network in 1984. He and fellow conservative layman Roger Moran formed the Missouri Baptist Laymen's Association in 1990, a gadfly alleging liberalism in moderate groups like the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Currently Messer is a plaintiff, along with Missouri Baptist Convention leaders including Pathway Editor Don Hinkle, in a lawsuit against Gov. Jay Nixon challenging an executive order saying that while Missouri doesn’t recognize gay marriage, same-sex couples married in another state who reside in Missouri can file joint returns on state taxes.