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Human Remains Found in Ohio Are of Former O’Jays Member Frank Little Jr.

Human remains found in a garbage bag in 1982 are the remains of former O’Jays member Frank “Frankie” Little Jr. Little’s remains were found in Twinsburg, Ohio.

The garbage bag was found on February 18, 1982 behind a business after an employee found a skull in the snow. The bones appeared to show signs of blunt force trauma and were determined to be from an African-American male between 20 and 35-years-old.

Frankie Little Jr. The O'Jays
Remains discovered on Feb. 18, 1982, have been identified as Frank “Frankie” Little Jr (right), a guitarist and songwriter with The O’Jays. A re-creation was made from the remains (left).(Photo: ABC News5)

Frankie Little was raised in Cleveland, about 25 miles from where his remains were found nearly 40 years ago. Little’s death was ruled a homicide, but authorities do not know much else about his disappearance and death.

The remains were finally identified through the DNA Doe Project along with efforts from the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Twinsburg Police Department. The DNA Doe Project found potential relatives of Little, and they in turn provided the police with DNA samples and gave them Little’s name.

A cousin of Little’s was contacted by the DNA Doe Project and asked if she had any missing family members. Margaret O’Sullivan told them that her cousin Frankie Little had been missing for years and nobody knew what had happened to him.

“I said yes. I have a cousin name Frankie Little is missing,” said O’Sullivan. “We don’t know what happened to him. We always wondered what happened, so we don’t know what happened to Frankie at all. … Now we have closure.”

The O’Jays released a statement after learning of Little’s death.

“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,” said the statement. “We wish his family and friends closure to what appears to be a very sad story.”

Lead singer of the O’Jays Eddie Levert said that Little was loving, passionate and sentimental. He also noted that love took Little back to Cleveland.

“He could have been a great entity in the music business, but he was in love and love drove him back to Cleveland,” said Levert. “I never would have thought this would happen to him. I don’t know why anyone would do him like that.”

Little was born in 1943 in Cleveland. He served in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam during the war. Little was a songwriter and guitarist for The O’Jays during the 1960s. It is believed that Little was alive until the mid-1970s.

Little had a daughter who passed away in 2021. He also had a son, but authorities have been unable to locate or identify him. Little’s remains will be given to the family for a proper goodbye.

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