Nearly 40 years after their discovery, a set of human remains have been identified as those of Frank ‘Frankie’ Little Jr., once a member of the R&B band The O’Jays. Little spent most of his life in Cleveland, where he was eventually hired as the guitarist and songwriter for The O’Jays in the mid-1960s.
On December 14th, the Twinsburg Police Department in Ohio announced that some human remains that had been discovered in a bin bag behind a business building in February 1982 belonged to Frank Little Jr. The successful identification of the body was thanks to “the genealogical research of the DNA Doe Project”, with the police thanking the organisation for providing the “names of potential living relatives, who were able to provide Frank’s name”.
In a statement released following the identification, the Twinsburg Police Department explained: “A close relative provided a DNA sample, which was analysed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crime Labis identity was then confirmed by Dr. Lisa Kohler of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office”.
The cause of Little’s death has been ruled as a homicide, although police were keen to clarify that little is known “about his disappearance and death”. According to the Forensic anthropologists working on the case, Little’s remains could have been sitting behind the since-closed business for more than two years before they were discovered in ’82.
Eric Hendershott, the detective leading the case, said: “It’s definitely nice that we can give some answers to the family and hopefully they have some sense of closure. He had a life, and ultimately he ended up here in Twinsburg, with his life taken by another.”
Following the announcement, The O’Jays also released a statement, in which they described Frankie as a “guitarist and songwriter in the very early O’Jays. He came with us when we first ventured out of Cleveland and travelled to Los Angeles, but he also was in love with a woman in Cleveland that he missed so much that he soon returned back to Cleveland after a short amount of time.
“That was in the mid-1960s and we had not heard from him after then. Although this sounds like a tragic ending, we wish his family and friends closure to what appears to be a very sad story.”