Unsolved mystery: World War II documents found in closet of Tri-State home

Family found documents of WWII veteran, searching for relatives

GLENDALE, Ohio (FOX19) - Who is Lynne M. Rafter?

The mystery has occupied Zach Elliott for several years, going back to the day he found a set of documents spanning from 1931-45 that apparently once belonged to the man.

Elliott is currently in Texas training to become a marine in the U.S. Marine Corps. He says he found the orphaned papers in a closet in his old home in Felicity, Ohio, a small village in southern Clermont County.

“I just decided to snoop around the house, because I’m always curious,” Elliott said.

According to the documents, Rafter was from the Glendale area and became an Army sergeant in World War II. They say he worked as an airplane and engine mechanic, spent four years in the military and was honorably discharged in 1945.

What happened to Rafter next? Elliott and his family are left wondering. Elliott’s mother says she shared the documents on social media and tried searching on Ancestry.com, but to no avail.

“It’s just been an unsolved mystery ever since, because I didn’t know the guy, and we thought maybe someone around knew, but nobody knew who he was,” Elliott explained.

Further research by FOX19 NOW indicates Rafter was born in Puerto Rico and lived in Lockland at one point. He may have relatives with the surname Bates or Bering who live in the Mt. Orab area.

The documents have been stashed in a family filing cabinet for years. It’s not where Elliott wants them: “(They’re) an important piece of history that should be definitely taken care of and put in the right place."

By “right place,” he means in the hands of Rafter’s relatives.

“I don’t want his personal stuff,” Elliott said. “I don’t want it just floating around. So I hope a family member can see that and find out if they are related so they can take it and put it somewhere to keep forever.”

If you think you are related to Rafter or know someone who might be, you’re encouraged to reach out to FOX19 NOW.

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