Robert Messer, a 37-year-old recently divorced father, and Emily Lalinsky, a 15-year-old girl, have disappeared together from their home in Northville Township, Michigan. The two were last seen Sunday and left notes professing their love for each other. Here's 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know about their disappearance.
1. Robert Messer Was a Close Family Friend to Emily Lalinsky's Family
Lisa Schwartz, the mother of Emily and five more children, reported that Robert Messer was a close family friend. She told WXYZ, " “With me having so many kids I could not just take her and do things with her, so he was like 'I’ll take her to Ann Arbor, I’ll take her to Botanical Gardens.'”
Lisa told WDIV that she felt "betrayed," and that Messer was "like a brother to me." She told WXYZ "Emily doesn't have a dad so she always looked up to Bob as a dad, as a father figure."
2. The Two Left Notes Professing Their Love for One Another
Lisa Schwarts told WWJ Newsradio 950 "They're in love, they're sorry that it worked out this way, nobody can do anything to change it."
Emily's note directed at her mother reads:
Mom - I love you so very much. Please don't ever doubt or forget that. You are an amazing and wonderful mother and person. I'm so sorry I hurt you and if there was any other way, we would've done it. Thank you so much for everything you do and have done. Try not to be sad and don't blame yourself. Nothing could be done. I love you.
Robert addressed his message to everyone saying
Hello Everyone. I am gonna keep this as short as I can...we are going to day because we have to. Not because we want to leave you. We are in love and cannot be apart... this is sad to us.
3. The Two Share a Love of Photography
Emily's mother, Lisa Schwartz, said that both Robert and Emily are "introverts who love photography," according to the Daily Mail.
The pictures seem to center around plant life and flowers, evoking Robert Messer's use of "#stillhopefortheflowers" in the prior picture. Messer's blog, linked to from his facebook, also features many photographs of flowers. This is likely a mutual interest of the two.
4. Robert Messer Has a Son
In addition to criminal implications, Messer has left his son. This picture was taken over a year ago, and it appears that even then, it was a picture of Messer "when he was younger," but later Instagram photos depict Messer's relatively young son, looking to be roughly in his mid-teens.
What is most evident on Messer's Instagram is the overwhelming number of photographs of Emily Lalinsky. While most of the pictures are of plants or inanimate objects, she is the only person who features predominantly amongst his images.
5. Messer Could be Prosecuted for Statutory Rape Under Michigan State law
In Michigan state law, it is considered "Criminal Sexual Conduct in the fourth degree," a misdemeanor when:
That other person is at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age, and the actor is 5 or more years older than that other person.
Since the two have professed their love, it is likely that prosecutors would use this against Messer, in addition to likely kidnapping charges.
Messer is currently being considered a "person of interest" in Emily's disappearance. He is driving a 1991 two-tone brown pick-up truck with the license plate CNS-2754, according to CBS Detroit.
Anyone with information is asked to call Plymouth Township Police at 734-354-3250