Just curious if anyone has every had experience with raw land that shows up on the tax records as the owner being "unknown"? How can someone claim it?
I would go to the register of deeds office for the county it is in. Even if the tax records show “Unknown” the deeds office should be able to find something on the property and who owned or owns it. Good luck.
In my experience most of the time this happens the "unknown" parcel is owned by one of the parcels neighboring it. It usually happens over the decades when a locality upgrades a computer system and/or they change their parcel number scheme and it slips through the cracks so to speak... or on lots that have been held for a very long time, ie pre-computers... there are these 1/8th, quarter or half lots that are basically not "buildable" on their own... they are thought of as attached to the parcel next to it that usually does have a structure of some kind, but they are taxed separately. If you were standing in front of it you'd probably just think to yourself, "Wow, this house has a big side yard!"
The auditors/property tax office, or assessors office or a helpful title rep could help you find out for sure.
Go to your local title company and have them do a full blown search on the property.