"Lost Traveler"
SVU, Episode 13.09
Production number: 13009
First aired: 30 November 2011
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Svu 13LostTraveler
Written By
Julie Martin & David Matthews

Directed By
Jean de Segonzac


A Romani child disappears on his way home from school. Benson and Amaro interview the distraught parents, who are distrustful of the police. The initial investigation leads Fin and Rollins to the powerful leader of the Romani community, but he denies any involvement. The family remains hopeful their boy will be found, especially when they discover his cell phone is still active. With the help of their TARU tech and a meddling newspaper reporter, the detectives narrow the perpetrators to a mentally challenged neighbor, throwing the tight-knit Romani community into turmoil.


A young Romani boy named Nico Gray goes missing on his way home from school. As the SVU detectives investigate his disappearance, they are met with resistance from the tight-knit Romani community. His parents believe that Nico is alive when they notice that someone has been deleting his voicemails. Unfortunately, a reporter for the Ledger was the person using his computer to hack Nico's phone. He offers information he received from hacking the phone of the Rom-Baro, who is a representative of the Romani King.

A slightly mentally challenged teenager named Marc (who lives across the street from the Gray family) is suspected in Nico's disappearance after the detectives find Nico's lucky rabbit's foot underneath his bed. Later, Nico's cigarette-burned body is found at a construction site.

In the end, it is revealed that Nico's classmates, Emma & Courtney were responsible for Nico's death. Marc reveals that the girls came into his room, engaged in sexual activity with him, & hid the rabbit's foot in an attempt to hide the evidence, thus turning him into a scapegoat. Emma confesses that they were teasing Nico when Courtney killed him to keep him from telling anyone. Courtney doesn't appear to show any remorse for murdering Nico.


Main Cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Episode references


Why not?

–Courtney Lane

Background information and notes

  • Gilbert Gottfried joins the cast as the recurring role of IT Leo Gerber.
  • This episode appears to have been inspired by two separate British murder cases: the case of two-year-old James Bulger who was abducted and murdered by two ten-year-old-boys in Liverpool in 1993; and the case of 13-year-old Milly Dowler who was murdered in 2002. This episode also may been inspired by the case of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky who was murdered in 2011.
  • During the case of the murder of Milly Dowler, at the time when the case was still just a missing person incident, voicemail messages to her mobile were deleted, leading her parents into believing that she was still alive (in a way similar to Nico Grey's parents). It was later revealed that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire had hacked into her phone on behalf of the tabloid paper News of the World. The fallout from this case resulted in the shutdown of News of the World, and also resulted in a high profile legal investigation, the Leveson Inquiry in 2012.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Caswell Academy
62 East 2nd Street
Monday, November 14

Alonso's Bicycles
158 Boerum Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Tuesday, November 15

Rom-Baro Mansion
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Tuesday, November 15

Lane Residence
100 Meserole Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Thursday, November 17

Previous episode:
"Educated Guess"
"Lost Traveler"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 13
Next episode:
"Spiraling Down"
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