Fran DeRosier with lost Elmo toy

Fran DeRosier has a toy Elmo belted into the backseat of her vehicle, as the Burlington woman turns to social media to find the lost toy’s owner.

BURLINGTON — A Burlington woman has taken to social media in an effort to reunite a plush Elmo toy with its owner — and is keeping it safely belted in her back seat in the mean time.

She found the red fluffy children's toy on Highway 142 just east of Richard Bong State Recreation Area.

“I immediately thought, ‘Oh, some kid is going to miss that thing,’” Fran DeRosier said of her reaction when she saw the toy Aug. 9 lying on the shoulder of the highway.

Less than a mile later, she turned around to fetch it.

Among the scenarios, she said, she imagined it had fallen out a car window unbeknownst to a young child, a theme of many a children’s book or movie.

“It’s very clean,” she said. “It hadn’t been there long.”

As of Aug. 12, her social media post had been shared more than 3,000 times by people as far away as Tennessee. And those posts were shared, and so on.

But, still no owner had come forward.

“No one has claimed him,” Fran said. “I’m sad about that.”

She remains hopeful the owner will be found. In the meantime, Fran, a teacher, is toting Elmo with her, keeping the toy safe and chronicling its adventures.

Should someone have a lead, she can be reached via Facebook messenger.