Lynn Messer, a mother and grandmother from Missouri, lived what seemed to be a happy life on her farm. But the morning of July 8, 2014, changed everything. Lynn mysteriously vanished from her home, and for over two years, her whereabouts remained a mystery. After her remains were discovered on November 1, 2016, I’m sure her family was hoping for answers but unfortunately they haven’t gotten any so far.
About Lynn Messer
Lynn Marie Hoog was born on June 4, 1962. She crossed paths with Kerry Messer, who would eventually become her husband, during their teenage years. Lynn dropped out of high school at 16 to start a new chapter of her life with Kerry as his wife.
Together, they had two boys, Aaron and Abram, and the Messers lived in a cozy farmhouse tucked away in the quiet town of Bloomsdale, Missouri.
At the time she went missing, Lynn was actively involved in their church community, teaching at the church’s Vacation Bible School.
Kerry Messer, Lynn’s husband, is quite known beyond their small town for his influential role as the founder of the Missouri Family Network. His career extends to the political sphere, where he advocates for conservative family values as a lobbyist in Missouri’s state capital, notably working with organizations like the Missouri Baptist Convention.
This group lobbies for things like homeschooling and pro-life stances. I want to stay objective here, but I immediately don’t like Kerry because I suspect hypocrisy from him. The family values men have a tendency to do the opposite, in my opinion.
The Fateful Morning
The night of July 7, 2014, was just another quiet evening at the Messer household with Lynn busy with her crafts, getting things ready for the upcoming Vacation Bible School. She stayed up late, talking on her phone and posting on social media until the early morning hours. But after midnight, all contact with Lynn abruptly stopped.
Fast forward to the early morning hours of July 8, Kerry Messer, Lynn’s husband, was jolted awake by the sound of thunder. It was 4 am, and he quickly realized Lynn wasn’t by his side.
Concerned, he searched their home and the surrounding farmland under the cover of darkness and pouring rain, but his wife was simply gone.
Lynn had left behind everything that you’d think someone would take if they were planning to leave: her ID, her passport, her wallet, and cell phone, even the car keys. Strangely enough, the walking boot she’d been using to protect a broken toe was also there, untouched.
After a few hours of fruitless searching, at 9 in the morning, Kerry and his sons made the call to the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office to report Lynn missing. Despite the family’s desperate efforts, Lynn had disappeared into thin air.
The Initial Investigation
The police immediately considered Lynn to be in potential danger right after she vanished. She had a broken toe and left behind the boot she needed to walk properly, which made them worry she might be in trouble.
They didn’t waste any time and called in a team of experts to help find her—local cops, search experts, dog teams, highway patrol officers, and even the FBI joined the effort.
On the very day she went missing, search dogs sniffed out a trail from the farmhouse, but it was lost because Lynn’s husband, Kerry, had their son Abram move the cows to another field, messing up the trail. I don’t live on a farm, but was moving those cows a priority when you’re searching for your missing wife? I have questions.
Right from the start, the Messer family home got a thorough going-over by both the local police and the FBI guys. But they didn’t find a single clue that pointed to someone hurting Lynn, like signs of a break-in or any kind of fight. This made the cops pretty sure she hadn’t been kidnapped.
Kerry, along with the police, didn’t think Lynn had just taken off on her own. She didn’t pack anything, and as far as everyone could tell, she was happy with her life, talking about future plans like vacations and Bible study classes.
After searching non-stop for four days with no sign of Lynn on the farm, the Sheriff was pretty sure she wasn’t there. That’s when they stopped the official search, but they still helped her family keep looking. Taking charge, one of Lynn’s sons and her brother-in-law kept leading volunteers. They put in an incredible amount of time—over 125 days of people searching tirelessly for Lynn.
Things Get Weirder
Two years had passed since anyone had seen Lynn Messer when her husband dropped a bombshell on the police: Lynn had left behind a note. What she wrote in it remains a secret to the public because the details haven’t been shared outside law enforcement.
Even though the note was in Lynn’s own handwriting and started off with her saying sorry to her husband and mentioning some personal struggles she was facing, the authorities didn’t treat it as a suicide note.
According to Kerry, at first, he didn’t think the note suggested that Lynn was considering suicide. But as time went on, he started to look at it differently and began to think that maybe it did indicate she was thinking about taking her own life. He claims that’s why he didn’t give the note to the police right away.
Kerry wouldn’t let anyone see the note that Lynn left behind, not even his own kids. This made his sons start to wonder about why their dad was keeping it secret, especially when his stories about what happened didn’t quite add up. Eventually, Kerry ended up kicking both of them out of the Missouri Family Network, the place where the whole family used to work side by side.
Kerry Messer has shared that his wife, Lynn, experienced a drastic shift in her medication, which he thinks might have led to some negative mental side effects. For over ten years, Lynn had been battling persistent hip pain and had even gone through surgery to try to fix it. But when the pain didn’t let up, her doctor switched up her medication. Kerry suspects that these new medications might have thrown Lynn into a state of confusion.
Lynn Messer’s son, Abram, has mentioned that his mom had opened up to him about a time in the past when she considered suicide. He recounted a troubling incident where Lynn said she went to the barn intending to end her life but ended up shooting the cats instead. She brushed off the incident when asked about it later.
Kerry’s New Girlfriend
In the two months after Lynn’s disappearance, her husband Kerry found comfort in the company of a family friend, Spring Thomas. Kerry later shared that his connection with Spring grew out of their shared sorrow and the need for mutual support.
Kerry mentioned a conversation Lynn supposedly had the day before she went missing. In it, she apparently told someone — it’s not clear who — that should anything happen to her, she would want Kerry to move on with Spring.
The fact that Kerry started seeing Spring so soon after his wife’s disappearance obviously sparked quite a bit of gossip and suspicion. People began to wonder if maybe Kerry was looking for a way to start a new life with Spring and if that desire played a role in the mystery of Lynn’s disappearance.
The Discovery of Lynn’s Remains
On November 1, 2016, the quiet of the Messer family’s wooded land was broken by a grim find. Lynn Messer’s bones were discovered scattered in the trees, not far from where they had been living on their sprawling 250-acre farm.
It was during a routine scout for the best deer hunting spots that one of Lynn’s sons stumbled across the skeletal remains. The discovery was a heartbreaking mile from their home, eerily aligned with the path that search dogs had tracked on that first desperate morning in July 2014, when Lynn had vanished. The trail that was disturbed by Kerry having his son move the cattle.
In the days following the discovery, an expert from the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the bones belonged to Lynn. This confirmation was made through a careful examination of dental records.
Despite a thorough investigation, including tests on the bones and toxicology reports from hair samples, there was no clear answer as to how Lynn died.
The examination of the bones led the medical examiner to conclude that Lynn’s remains had been lying undisturbed in that very spot for the entire two years since she had been reported missing.
Following the grim discovery of his wife’s remains, it became common knowledge around town that Kerry Messer was no longer assisting law enforcement with their inquiries.
The “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page, which Kerry had diligently updated every day in the search for his wife, saw no more updates from him. The community noticed that he had withdrawn into his home, where he was living with his new partner Spring, a move that raised eyebrows among neighbors and those who followed the case.
Several theories have been floated regarding Lynn’s disappearance and death:
- Accidental Death: Some believe that Lynn might have had an accident on her property and died due to her injuries. But there’s a lingering question: if she was so close to her house, why did it take so long to find her? It seems strange that despite being merely a stone’s throw away from her home, her whereabouts remained a mystery for such a lengthy period.
- Suicide: As previously mentioned, Kerry Messer believed that his wife might have taken her own life. But nobody found a note that she would have left behind if that were the case. Plus, there are gaps in the timeline of her disappearance that don’t quite make sense. On top of that, Lynn’s own family has voiced their skepticism about the idea that she would commit suicide. These doubts and missing details throw a big question mark over Kerry’s belief.
- Foul Play: Given the mysterious circumstances surrounding Lynn’s disappearance and the subsequent discovery of her remains, many speculate that she might have been murdered. But the thing is, there’s no hard proof or a clear-cut reason for how she died, so it’s all guesswork for now. And when it comes to pointing fingers, Kerry’s name keeps popping up as the possible bad guy in this whole mess. But again, it’s all hunches until the facts come out straight.
Lynn Messer’s case is more than just a mystery. It’s a story of a family torn apart, of a community left with unsettling questions, and of the unpredictable nature of life. Her children and grandchildren have been vocal about their need for closure and answers. They, along with countless others, hope that one day the truth behind Lynn’s tragic end will come to light.
In March of 2017, her family was able to take her remains back. A few months later, in June, they held a quiet funeral for her in Greene County, Arkansas. Detectives are still on the case, trying to piece together what happened. As of now, the puzzle of Lynn’s disappearance hasn’t been solved.
If you know something about Lynn Marie Messer’s vanishing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office at 573-883-5820. You can also ring up the WE HELP THE MISSING tip line at 866-660-4025. Every little bit of info could make a big difference, so please reach out if you can help.
- “American Gothic” | Disappeared | Investigation Discovery
- “What Happened to Lynn Messer?” | Collin Reishman | The Missouri Times
- Lynn Messer” | Disappeared Blog
- “Lynn Messer: Found or Missing? Who Killed Her?” | Shraman Mitra | TheCinemaholic
- “MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF: Lynn Messer” | Crime Junkie
- “98: American Gothic: The Disappearance of Lynn Messer” | I Think Not
- “Death of Lynn Messer” | Wikipedia