Remains found in 1982 are those of former O’Jays guitarist

Posted at 6:30 PM, December 14, 2021 and last updated 2:23 PM, July 24, 2023

TWINSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Skeletal remains found nearly 40 years ago have been identified as those of a guitarist who once played with the R&B group The O’Jays and also co-wrote a few of their songs, investigators said.

Authorities used DNA and genealogical research to identify the remains of Frank “Frankie” Little Jr., which were found in a garbage bag in a wooded area behind a business in Twinsburg in 1982, said Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler.

His death has now been ruled a homicide, but who killed him remains unknown, she said.

Little, who was born in Cleveland in 1943, played with the the O’Jays in the mid-1960s. He was not a founding member of the group that began in Canton, Ohio, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

He served in the U.S. Army for two years, including in the Vietnam War, but not much was known about his disappearance, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Walter Williams, one of the original members of the O’Jays, said Little wrote songs with Eddie Levert, another one of the band’s founders, according to Twinsburg detective Eric Hendershott, who helped revive the investigation into the remains.

“Part of the mystery is over with, but we have no idea how he got there, how he disappeared or where he lived toward the end of his life,” Hendershott said.