1982 Ohio homicide victim identified as former guitarist, songwriter for O’Jays

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Frank “Frankie” Little Jr. (Courtesy: Twinsburg Police Department)

TWINSBURG, Ohio (WJW) – After 39 years, police in Ohio 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., a guitarist and songwriter for the band the O’Jays.

Hendershott said the DNA Doe Project helped identify the victim.

“His identity remained a mystery for almost 40 years,” a release from Twinsburg police states. “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 then confirmed by Dr. Lisa Kohler of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Police said the victim’s partial remains were recovered in a garbage bag behind a now-closed business. The remains were that of an African American male, 20 to 35 years of age, approximately 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 raised in Cleveland. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, including a deployment to Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

The release from the police also states Little had a daughter who died in 2012, and he has 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 release stated.

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