Twinsburg homicide victim from 1982 identified as former guitarist, songwriter for the O’Jays

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TWINSBURG, Ohio (WJW) – After 39 years Twinsburg police have identified a murder victim whose remains were found in 1982.

Twinsburg Detective Eric Hendershott told the FOX 8 I-Team Tuesday the remains were identified as Frank “Frankie” Little Jr. He was born in 1943, and was 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. His identification was made through the collaborative efforts of the Twinsburg Police Department, the DNA Doe Project, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Police say the victim’s partial remains were recovered in a garbage bag behind a now-closed business on Cannon Road. The remains were that of an African-American male, 20 to 35 years of age, approximately 5’6” tall, and he may have had adolescent kyphosis, a curvature of the spine. His manner of death has been ruled a homicide by Dr. Kohler.

The remains showed evidence of stabbing, blunt force trauma and postmortem fire.

Investigators believe that he had been dead for several years before his body was found.

Little Jr., was born and raised in Cleveland. He served in the US Army for two years, which included a deployment to Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

The release from the police also states Little Jr. 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 states.

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