BLOOMSDALE, Mo. – New details have emerged following the discovery of skeletal remains on the Messer property Tuesday night.
Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer confirmed on Wednesday that a hunter located the remains. The Missouri Times has confirmed that the hunter was in fact Aarron Messer and his two teenage daughters.
Aarron said they were walking in the woods of the family’s 250-acre farm scouting for locations to hunt deer when one of his daughters called out to him.
“My daughter noticed a skull on the ground, and called me back to it. I had walked right past it,” Aarron said. “As soon as I was able to see it, I knew it was a human remain. This was a skull with teeth that had fillings, so it was very clearly a human element and not anything else that could have been confused, so we immediately sought to contact the sheriff’s department and not disturb anything.”
Aarron says the authorities arrived on the scene at about 6:45 or 7 p.m. and took control of the scene. Law enforcement secured the area, and stood guard at the scene all night until the FBI forensic team arrived Wednesday morning to process the evidence.
Kerry Messer posted the following message on the ‘Find Lynn Messer’ Facebook page on Wednesday:
Aarron said there is little doubt the remains belong to his mother, Lynn Messer. The wife of Jefferson City lobbyist and the Missouri Family Network’s president Kerry Messer has been missing since July 8, 2014.
“I’ve not been confirming publicly because it’s been still waiting on the sheriff’s department and the FBI to do a positive ID on the remains, we haven’t confirmed that yet. But it’s no question to us, in our minds, that this will be confirmed as Mother has been found on the farm,” he said.
Aarron says there are a number of clues that lead him to believe that the remains belong to his mother.
“There were blankets, a pillow, her glasses were there,” he said. “They have of full a set of remains as they could expect to have at this point. They’re confident that the ID will be positive once they are able to examine them and compare the hips with the replacements and the serial numbers they have on file.”
As for how Lynn may have arrived at the spot in which the remains were located, Aarron says he would not be surprised if authorities concluded that Lynn’s death was a suicide, and that her remains have been there since July 8th.
“The facts that will be borne out when the FBI forensic team is complete and the sheriff’s department finalizes their report is that my mother’s remains have been exposed to the elements for a number of years, that she has been there in the open for awhile,” he said. “I see the location of her body and the placement of the items around her to be the indication of a voluntary place. In my mind, this is a somewhere where my mother laid down to say goodbye, or she was placed there deliberately. I want to believe this is something that she wanted, rather than something nefarious.”
Hundreds of searches scoured the family’s property with no signs of Lynn. Searches continued for over a month before moving off the property. Aarron said the location of the remains may be exactly the reason it took so long to locate.
“This was a very overgrown area, and quite frankly, where the remains lay in the thick undergrowth around the base of a tree, you’d almost have to walk on top of her to find her there,” he continued. “I can say very clearly that her body was never buried, it wasn’t something that was hidden away, it just simply wasn’t discovered in the searching.”
“The evidence is here and we have to listen,” he added.
The investigation is still ongoing, at this time, with Sheriff Stolzer saying it will take time to identify the remains and process the evidence, and that it’s too early to say whether they relate to the case of Lynn Messer’s disappearance.
Aarron, however, says that it does bring some measure of closure.
“It’s something that answers a lot of questions that we didn’t have the answers to, but it still leaves so many still open,” Aarron said. “Yesterday was the best day in two-and-a-half years of waiting. Today, we take a step forward that we haven’t been able to take in two years. We don’t have all of the answers, but we’re stepping forward for the first time in a long time.”
To see what Aarron’s brother Abram had to say, click here.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.