Remains found in trash bag in 1982 identified as former member of the O’Jays
Partial human remains found almost four decades ago in a trash bag behind an Ohio business were identified by police on Tuesday as Frank Little Jr., a former songwriter and guitarist for the O’Jays.
The discovery was made after the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization that uses genetic genealogy to help identify “Jane and John Does”, provided authorities with the names of potential living relatives of the person found in the trash bag, Twinsburg City Police said in a press release.
The bag was found on February 18, 1982, behind a now closed business in Twinsburg, about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.
After relatives said the remains could be Little’s, a close relative provided a DNA sample and Little’s identity was confirmed by the Summit County medical examiner, authorities said.
The medical examiner ruled Little’s death a homicide, according to the press release.
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The ministry did not provide further details on the mode of death and did not identify a cause of death.
Little, who was born in Cleveland in 1943, had two children and served in the U.S. Army, deploying to Vietnam, the Twinsburg Police Department said. According to the press release, in the mid-1960s he performed with the O’Jays, then a fledgling R&B group that had formed in Canton, south of Cleveland.
The group went on to release dozens of top 20 singles and albums. In 2005, the O’Jays were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A representative of the group said on Wednesday morning: “We wish his family and friends an end to what appears to be a very sad story.”
Little’s last known address was in Cleveland, and he was last seen in the 1970s, Twinsburg police said. Few details were known about the circumstances of his disappearance or death, the department said.
Little’s daughter died in 2012, the statement said. The ministry had not yet been able to contact his son.