“In Missouri, there are more than 900 missing people with families awaiting answers.”
(KPLR) – Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult, but it’s especially tough during the holiday season. Many people feel sad or depressed during what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year. Tonight on The Pulse of St. Louis, learn what grief is, what causes it and how to push through it to get to a better place.
Written by Allison Twaits
STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KFVS) – More than a year ago, a Ste. Genevieve woman disappeared from her home.
On Tuesday, her husband asked for help in finding her from an unlikely source.
Lynn Messer vanished in the middle of the night 16 months ago and her husband, Kerry asked the thousands of deer hunters who will make their way in to the woods over the weekend for the start of the season, to keep an eye out for any clues.
“I wake up in the middle of the night and quite often I reach across the bed and it’s still empty,” said Kerry Messer.
When his then 52-year-old wife, Lynn Messer, went missing in July of 2014, hundreds of volunteers searched thousands of acres in the weeks following her disappearance without any clues turning up.
But he said there’s still hope.
“The half-million hunters that go out in the woods during this deer season, if they would all hear the message and if they would all pay attention and report the odd items, someone’s loved one is going to be found,” he said.
This weekend marks the start of deer hunting season, which means the largest group of hunters will head out into the woods.
While out hunting for deer, Messer hopes they keep an eye out for any evidence about his wife’s disappearance.
“There is no scenario that will give us closure, but if it could at least give us some resolve, that would be better than nothing,” said Messer.
Messer stresses the search method has worked in the past. This year, he hopes it works for his family.
“I just want to beg hunters and outdoors folks to, please, don’t ignore the strange things you see in the woods, they are important to somebody,” he said.
STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – A Missouri lobbyist is making a plea to deer hunters to help find his missing wife. She disappeared from their home more than a year ago.
This weekend marks the beginning of deer hunting season with firearms, and that’s when the largest group of hunters will head out into the woods.
Kerry Messer is hoping they will not only look for deer, but evidence that could lead to his wife.
52-year-old Lynn Messer disappeared from their farm-house in St. Genevieve County in July of 2014. Police and volunteers have searched unsuccessfully for Messer’s childhood sweetheart.
Now he’s hoping deer hunters will have better luck.
Messer wants hunters to look for suspicious items that don’t belong in the woods.
Missouri Hunters Urged to Support Hurting Families
With the start of the main firearms deer season in Missouri, Support the Hurting (a newly formed non-profit organization) is urging hunters, farmers, and other outdoor enthusiasts to join as volunteer partners with law enforcement and the grieving loved ones of missing persons. Support the Hurting believes it can raise awareness among the outdoors community by changing the way people explore and enjoy the landscape.
Saturday, November 15, is opening day for the fall firearms deer season in which upwards to a half million or more Missouri deer hunters will be in normally unoccupied woodlands throughout the State. While bow season and the Youth Hunt weekend has already seen many hunters, starting tomorrow a significant surge of hunters will become the largest search party to ever inter the woods.
Law enforcement and the husband of 52-year-old Lynn Messer, who disappeared on the night of July 7, are urging Missouri hunters to become part of their search efforts. Missouri hunters are being asked to join the effort by becoming volunteer searchers who will commit to awareness and vigilance, reporting anything that might help law enforcement find Lynn Messer or other missing persons.
The Missouri Department of Conservation is interested to see how this effort will impact and encourage hunters on how to identify potential items of interest and report them to law enforcement authorities to aid in the recovery of Lynn Messer, or any other missing persons.
Kerry Messer, husband of Lynn Messer and host of the “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook page said, “To our knowledge there has never been a focused effort to inform hunters on how to identify and report findings that could possibly be beneficial to law enforcement and hurting families. We are asking the hunters of Missouri to expand their stewardship of our conservation programs to include this additional voluntary effort for the many hurting families and loved ones who are still searching for missing loved ones.”
On the night of July 7, Lynn Messer disappeared from her rural home in Ste. Genevieve County. At 4:00 am the next morning her husband, Kerry Messer, woke up to the sounds of thunder and lightning only to discover that his wife was missing. As his search began that morning, today it has been over 4 months and he is still searching. Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s special hotline at 573-883-5820 ext. 27463.
“We are urging deer hunters across Missouri to become part of our extended search team,” Messer said. “If a hunter comes across any item that might help law enforcement, we are asking them to take a photo and record a GPS ping or other location documentation.
“We want hunters to know that no one should touch or move potential evidence items. This is why it is so important to take photos and record locations for local law enforcement. They need to be the ones who determine if such items are important to any case.”
The new educational effort now spearheaded by Mr. Messer hopes to impact all farmers, hunters, fishermen, and other outdoors enthusiasts. “We want to educate and encourage people to commit themselves and pledge to become stewards of anything they find that is out of the ordinary. By treating such items as potential evidence needed by law enforcement in their investigations, they may in fact redirect or even help solve cases of missing persons. Through Support the Hurting we hope to change the way people look at their environment, and expand the purposes of hunters and other outdoors adventurers as we look into the future.”
The Messer family recognizes the dangers and safety concerns of asking searchers to continue their efforts in the same woodlands and forests where hunters may be unaware of their presence. “We also are very aware that we could cause conflicts with hunters and land owners,” Messer said. “Our desire is to respect private properties and the people who use those lands.”
Hunters are encouraged on the other hand to be on the lookout for newer and “out of place” articles such as clothing, jewelry or prescription eyeglasses rather than items that would clearly not be connected to any investigation. Hunter discretion is encouraged but law enforcement need all the leads they can get.
Massive search efforts have engaged numerous law enforcement resources and agencies. Mr. Messer has an extensive network of family and friends assisting in the search and is seeking media attention to the effort to find his missing wife.
As a prominent pro-family lobbyist well known not only for his past 30 years of work at the State Capitol, Mr. Messer is also recognized for his ministry among the broad spectrum of public officials, staff and government relations professionals in Jefferson City. As a result, support and assistance has come from all corners of the State. But the whereabouts of Lynn Messer remains a mystery.
The “Find Lynn Messer” Facebook community has helped to launch this new initiative to connect with Missouri hunters as the fall deer and turkey seasons add a new dynamic to the search for Lynn. And Messer’s political connections are bearing fruit as he builds an advisory board containing Missouri’s congressional delegation as well as retired law enforcement.
“With months of searching producing no clues, we are turning to the hunters themselves,” Messer said. “We are reaching out to all hunters, deer, turkey, bow, rifle and everyone who will be spending time outdoors this fall. We want to ask that the hundreds of thousands of hunters who go into the woods this year, please be aware that you could see some evidence of a missing person that needs to be reported.”
Lynn Messer is not the only unsolved missing person. There are many unsolved missing persons with family and friends living the nightmare and anguish of “not knowing.” Hunters are asked to please keep an eye out for anything unusual that could be a clue for any of these unsolved cases.
A pair of prescription eyeglasses, a shoe or other article of clothing that appears to be relatively new to the forest floor. These are the types of items that need to be recorded and reported to local authorities.
If a hunter were to discover something, anything out of the ordinary, we ask that they do not move it. It is very important to document such items and send that information to local law enforcement. Most hunters carry cell phones that can take pictures. More and more hunters carry GPS systems that can “ping” a location. These are the tools that can become invaluable to law enforcement and the hurting families of missing loved ones.
For more information contact: Kerry Messer at 573-483-2007 (land line), or 314-971-2477 (cell).
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