1982 Ohio homicide victim identified as former O’Jays guitarist and songwriter
TWINSBOURG, Ohio (WJW) – After 39 years, Ohio police have identified a homicide victim whose remains were found in 1982.
Twinsburg Detective Eric Hendershott told WJW on Tuesday that the remains were identified as Frank “Frankie” Little Jr., guitarist and songwriter for The O’Jays.
Hendershott said the DNA Doe Project helped identify the victim.
“His identity has remained a mystery for nearly 40 years,” a statement from Twinsburg police said. “In October 2021, the DNA Doe Project provided the names of potential living relatives, who were able to provide Frank’s name. A close relative provided a DNA sample, which was analyzed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crime Lab. His identity was later confirmed by Dr. Lisa Kohler of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police said the victim’s partial remains were found in a trash bag behind a now closed business. The remains were of an African-American male, aged 20 to 35, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, and he may have had adolescent kyphosis, a curvature of the spine. His cause of death was ruled a homicide by Kohler.
Little was born in 1943 and grew up in Cleveland. He served in the United States Army for two years, including a deployment to Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
The police statement also says Little had a daughter who died in 2012 and he had a son who has not yet been located or identified.
“Not much is known about his disappearance and death. Our sympathies to the family during this difficult time,” the police statement said.