The remains of a former member of the O’Jays identified after 40 years


By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

A comparison of a clay model made from remains found in Twinsburg in 1982 with a photo of Frank Little from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. (Twinsburg Police Department / TNS)

(NNPA) – He was raised in relative obscurity in Cleveland, Ohio, but his unique talent with the guitar helped R&B supergroup The O’Jays eventually gain entry to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

But Frankie Little Jr. didn’t live long enough to see his bandmates Eddie Levert, Bobby Massey, Sammy Strain, Walter Williams and William Powell leap into musical immortality.

But what happened to Little had remained a mystery for almost 40 years.

On Wednesday, December 15, authorities in Ohio identified partial human remains found in a garbage bag in 1982 as belonging to Little.

The Twinsburg Police Department released a statement noting that a worker had discovered a skull inside a bag dumped behind a now closed business.

Investigators said the bones found with the skull showed signs of blunt trauma and concluded Little’s death was a homicide.

“The remains belonged to an African-American man, aged 20 to 35, standing about 5’6” tall, and he may have had teenage kyphosis, a curvature of the spine, “it reads. the press release.

The DNA Doe Project, which provided the names of potential parents, gave Little’s name to the police and a DNA sample.

This sample was analyzed by the criminal laboratory of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and Little’s identity was subsequently confirmed by Dr. Lisa Kohler of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“It’s really nice that we can give the family answers, and I hope they have some sense of closure,” Twinsburg Detective Eric Hendershott told WEWS. “He had a life, and eventually he ended up here in Twinsburg, with his life taken by another.”

Few people were last alive in the mid-1970s, according to police.

He resided in Cleveland, about 24 miles from where his remains were found. “

Police continue to investigate the case to determine what happened to Little. After that, the authorities will hand over his remains to relatives for burial.

In a statement, the O’Jays said they had not heard from Little long before his death.

“He came with us when we first ventured out of Cleveland and traveled to Los Angeles, but he was also in love with a woman in Cleveland who he missed so much that he quickly returned to Cleveland after a short period of time, “group wrote in the statement.

“We wish his family and friends an end to what seems like a very sad story.”

According to various reports on Little’s life, he served two years in the United States Army, including a deployment during the Vietnam War.

He had a daughter who died in 2012 and he has a son who has not yet been located or identified.


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