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Ohio police: Human remains found in 1982 identified as guitarist and songwriter for The O'Jays

Twinsburg police say the partial remains had been located in a garbage bag behind a now-closed business on Cannon Road.

TWINSBURG, Ohio — After nearly 40 years, a mystery in Twinsburg has finally been solved.

Police announced Tuesday that human remains found on Feb. 18 of 1982 have now been identified as Frank “Frankie” Little Jr. of Cleveland.

“In the mid-1960s, Frank was a guitarist and songwriter for the band The O’Jays,” Twinsburg police said in a press release Tuesday morning.

The positive identification was the result of genealogical research from the DNA Doe Project, which had provided names of potential living relatives back in October.

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“A close relative provided a DNA sample, which was analyzed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crime Lab,” Twinsburg police said. “His identity was then confirmed by Dr. Lisa Kohler of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Police say the partial remains had been located in a garbage bag behind a now-closed business on Cannon Road. His manner of death had been ruled a homicide.

Little, who was raised in Cleveland, was born in 1943.

“He served in the US Army for two years, which included a deployment to Vietnam during the Vietnam War," Twinsburg police continued. "Frank had a daughter who passed away in 2012, and he has a son who has not yet been located or identified.”

Police say he was last known to reside in the area East 105th and Superior Avenue in Cleveland.

“Not much is known about his disappearance and death,” police added. “Our sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office also released the following statement Tuesday: 

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office is pleased to have assisted Twinsburg Police in confirming the identity of Frank Little, Jr.’s remains. A combination of skeletal characteristics and DNA analysis provided enough information to confirm the identification of these remains. Much about his disappearance and death remain unknown, but the family now knows the location and status of their family member. Scene investigation and anthropologic examination findings support a ruling of homicide. Thank you to all of the agencies who contributed to this effort. Our sympathies go out to his family.


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