Ray Elliot photo
Was the real Ray Elliot
  Draw your own
conclusions through news-
paper articles, then discover
his true identity.

Ray Elliott - Lost Boy

In 1893, three-year-old Ray Elliott disappeared while playing near his home in Marengo. A boy was returned to the Elliott family fourteen months later and a courtroom battle over possession of the boy ensued. Was the lost boy the kidnapped Ray Elliott or was he Roy Burke? Over one hundred years later playwright Tom Johnson discovered a book, contemporary to the event, which documented the incident. Tom then produced a play in 2002 at the Old Creamery Theater in Iowa County. This renewed interest resulted in the pursuit of DNA evidence and the final illuminating conclusion... 109 years later.

Follow the story as it unfolds through news articles of the day, or read the article which captures the essence of the events, then skip to the story of the amazing and conclusive discovery made in 2002.

Lost Boy News Articles, 1893-1951

True Identity News, 2002

Interest in the case 100 Years Later

Title: Ray Elliott, Lost Boy Case - News Articles from Iowa Newspapers
Publisher: Various Iowa newspapers (see individual news articles) Dates: 1893-1901, 2002
Repositories: State Historical Society of Iowa, Newspaper Archive, NewsBank Inc. Transcription and Intro by: Stephen Williams
Published: Iowa County IAGenWeb, Stephen Williams, Nov 2006

The boy's identity has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt to the thinking people of this community to be that of Roy Burke. - October 1, 1894 - Davenport Weekly Leader.

The preponderance of evidence favors the identity of Ray Elliott - April 17, 1895 - New Era, Humeston

DNA testing of descendants in the next month should solve the mystery (2002)