ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Two years after Lynn Messer vanished from her Ste. Genevieve County farm, her family is fighting over what really happened that night.
Husband Kerry Messer, 57, a conservative Jefferson City lobbyist, is revealing new details about a handwritten note it’s believed his then-52-year-old wife left behind.
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“It’s some kind of a note of finality,” Kerry said, “but I don’t know what that means, and to this day I do not understand it.”
The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff confirms the note is a piece of evidence in the case.
“The letter was analyzed by the FBI,” said Department Spokesman Major Jason Schott. “They cannot 100 percent say that it was her’s, but they feel possibly it was her’s.”
Kerry Messer says it’s a puzzling note that can be taken different ways.
“The first line was an apology,” Messer said. “‘It was an ‘I’m sorry to put you through this… I love you from the bottom of my heart.'”
From there, Kerry Messer said the note reveals “some conflicts she was going through,” but stopped short of declaring an intention of suicide.
“The most declarative thing was she signed the note, ‘Sorry Everyone,’ and that was it,” Messer said.
The Cats in the Barn
Six months before Lynn Messer disappeared, she almost killed herself, according to her son Abram Messer.
“After I asked her several times about it,” Abram said, “she said, ‘I went out to the barn to kill myself, and I shot the cats instead.'”
Abram Messer, 34, says the killing of the cats deeply troubled the family, but he says his father minimized it and failed to disclose it — even when investigators probing her disappearance asked if Lynn Messer had any history of depression.
“I love my father,” Abram said. “Just want my father to tell the truth.”
The father and son, who used to work together as lobbyists, are now estranged over the investigation.
Abram Messer believes his father is hiding something.
“I see two possibilities,” Abram said. “Number one — that my mother walked out of the house, took her own life, and my father moved her body in an effort to protect himself or protect his assets, to protect the farm. Or, he was more directly involved.”
Kerry Messer sent KMOX a statement in reaction to his son’s accusation:
“This is the first time Abram has made this kind of accusation that I am aware of. It is sad to see him come to this kind of state. If this is what he has come to believe over the past year, it certainly helps to explain a lot of his behavior towards me. And it certainly adds to the grief of a difficult season.”
Kerry Messer denies any involvement in his wife’s disappearance, and speculates that she may have met with foul play while walking alone at night, or killed herself in some remote location.
“We live out in a rural area,” Kerry Messer said. “Lynn has not slept well for the last several years. One of the things she would do to get sleepy was she’d go for long walks. She’d go out to the county road and walk to the stop sign and back. She’d go for several mile walks in the middle of the night, and it wasn’t unusual for her to do that.”
Kerry Messer said his wife carried no weapons for self-defense on her late-night walks. None of her guns were missing when she disappeared, he said, so she appears to have left the house unarmed.
“The greater indication is that she’s just as likely to have harmed herself,” Kerry Messer said. “We don’t know why we couldn’t find anything. She could have went to the Mississippi River or something like that.”
Kerry Messer said his wife was capable of walking the eight miles to the river to end her life.
Relationship with a Woman
Kerry Messer admits he has been involved in a relationship with a woman following his wife’s disappearance — a relationship he claims his wife sanctioned shortly before she went missing.
“Less than 12 hours prior to all of this (the disappearance ),” Kerry Messer said, “I found out that she (Lynn Messer) had actually addressed someone to say this is what I hope … this is what Kerry should do if something ever happens to me.”
Kerry Messer admits he has come under suspicion for his relationship with the woman, but insists there is nothing wrong.
“I have found myself drawn to that particular person, partly because she (Lynn Messer) planted the seeds,” Kerry Messer said, “but also it has been occurring. So, I have this good friend who has been helping me process, and in the process we have found ourselves drawn to each other. We don’t know where it’s going, but it is part of the mix.”
Kerry Messer’s son Abram finds his father’s new relationship with another woman unsettling.
“I know that my father loved my mother, I know that he loved her very much,” Abram Messer said, “and I do not believe that my father would go running off to another woman eight weeks after my mother disappears, if he truly, truly did not know whether or not she was dead or alive.”
Everyone is Still a Suspect
The Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff tells KMOX no one has been eliminated as a possible suspect from what is described as an “active investigation.”
Kerry Messer has been critical of how the investigation has been handled. He believes law enforcement has been more interested in proving he committed a crime than in finding his wife.
“Their search for Lynn has nothing to do with finding Lynn,” Messer said. “It only has to do with two questions — was there a crime and who did it.”
Two years after his wife’s disappearance, Kerry Messer said his study of other long-term missing person cases have made him pessimistic about a happy outcome.
“I have zero optimism of potentially finding Lynn alive,” Messer said.
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