After 40-years DNA Identifies Remains Of The O’Jays Frank Little Jr.
Tuesday Twinsburg, Ohio investigators finally identified the human remains of a man found 40 years ago. The remains were found on February 18, 1982, in the back of a parking lot behind a closed business. The skull and some teeth were in the snow, while the rest of the bones were in trash bags. DNA and genealogical research revealed it was the body of singer/songwriter/producer for The O'jays, Frank "Frankie" Little Jr.
Little was from Cleveland and was a member of the iconic singing group in the mid-60's. Astonished by the news, the group released a statement about the last time they saw him saying,
"He came with us when we first ventured out of Cleveland and traveled 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." This would be the last time they seen him. The group went on the "wish his family and friends closure to what appears to ve a bery sad story."
Indeed. Twinsburg detective Eric Hendershott reported prior to using DNA that he attempted to identify Littles remains in 2018 but failed. He told the Akron Beacon Journal “It occurred to me that time’s ticking,” he continued. “Soon enough, people won’t be alive to remember him.” Hendershott turned to the DNA Doe Project for help in September 2019. From there they began the process of putting together a family tree. Those results identified a last name and they were able to locate the musician's cousin, Margaret O'Sullivan.
She in turn helped Hendershott contact Little's only surviving brother, who agreed to give a DNA sample. Incredibly, the results were a match. The skeletal remains of Frank "Frankie" Little Jr. were finally identified after 40 years. O'Sullivan said, "We're glad that we have closure now." she said. "We know he's deceased."
Initial reports of the skeletal remains suggested that they belonged to a Black male between the ages of 20 and 35. The original cause of death was "undetermined" however, the authorities believe Little was murdered by way of blunt force to the head. Investigators say the songwriter was dead for roughly two years, prior to his skeleton being discovered. Many thought Frank could still be alive. In fact, no one really could tell investigators exactly when he came up missing.
His brother told them his brother had a son but didn't seem to know his name. He also told them Little had a daughter, but she died in 2012. Other than what they talked about the last time they spoke, Little's brother wasn't much help. Hendershott's goal now is to find out who killed Little. He's hoping to locate the musician's son to see if he could offer more information about his father's disappearance.