A Myerstown man remains missing after his disappearance earlier this month, with authorities saying they have exhausted all reasonable efforts to locate him using on-site search teams.

Identified by police as 46 year old Karl F. Messerschmidt whose last fixed address was in Myerstown, his disappearance fell under the jurisdiction of Northern Lancaster County Police Department (NLCRPD), which has authority in Clay Township, within which the majority of Middle Creek is located.

NLCRPD’s involvement in the investigation began Monday March 18 with a call from Pennsylvania State Police, who indicated that Messerschmidt was possibly suicidal and his Jeep had been found parked at Middle Creek, unoccupied for approximately four days.

Interviews with family members suggested some possible reasons for Messerschmidt’s presence at Middle Creek; he was a geocacher, hiker, and HAM radio operator who was said to seek views from rocky vantage points. However, family members also shared “indicators of potential self-harm by the subject, consistent with the specific location where the vehicle was found and matching nearby geographic features,” according to the release. Messerschmidt is said to have told family specific intended means of self-harm, which is typically a serious red flag for mental health professionals monitoring for suicidal tendencies.

A loaded handgun, radio, and other outdoors equipment was found in the Jeep, which has been towed and impounded while the investigation is ongoing.

Messerschmidt has been entered into the NCIC/CLEAN database with the classification of “missing endangered.”

An intensive search of the area was held over March 18 to March 20. Search resources include drones, horse-mounted teams, ATV searchers, foot searchers, law enforcement help, EMS help, Pennsylvania State Police aviation resources, and logistics teams helping organize the effort.

Anyone with information regarding Messerschmidt disappearance is asked to contact NLCRPD at 717-733-0965.

An earlier version of this post referred to the man as Karl F. Messersmith, as that is how NLCRPD referred to him. However, after receiving comments that his last name was actually Messerschmidt, we have independently verified this and updated the post accordingly.


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  1. Just wanted to point out a name correction: Messerschmidt, not Messersmith. Thank you.