- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Skeletal remains that investigators believe to be a Missouri lobbyist’s wife missing since 2014 could be identified within days, a sheriff said Thursday as he awaited the crucial determination of how the person died.

Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer told The Associated Press that “we’re 99 percent sure” the remains discovered around dusk Tuesday are those of Lynn Messer, who was 52 years old when she went missing. They were found in a wooded section of the Messer family’s 250-acre farm near Bloomsdale, on the east of the state.

Clothing found at the scene matched Messer’s and there was evidence that the person had had hip surgery, as Messer did, the sheriff said.

“We believe we’ll have her identified in the next couple of days, for sure,” he said.

A pathologist will evaluate the remains in the hopes of determining a cause of death.

“The cause of death is what we’re all after, and that will decide where the investigation takes us,” Stolzer said. “Finding her is a plus. But we need to determine whether she died by her own hand or someone else’s.”

Messer’s husband, Kerry Messer, is well-known Jefferson City lobbyist. He also is founder and president of the conservative Missouri Family Network and has served on the Missouri Baptist Convention’s board.

Kerry Messer, 57, did not respond to several messages seeking comment about the discovery of the remains, which one of their sons found while scouting deer in an area that had already been searched. Kerry Messer has said he noticed his wife missing on July 8, 2014, after he woke up and found her gone.

Last year, he launched an effort to have hunters watch out for things such as small personal items that could be clues in missing person investigations.

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