Partial human remains found nearly four decades ago in a garbage bag behind an Ohio business were identified by police Tuesday as Frank Little Jr., a former songwriter and guitarist for the O’Jays.
The discovery was made after the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit that uses genetic genealogy to help identify “Jane and John Does,” provided authorities with the names of potential living relatives of the person found in the garbage bag, police in the city of Twinsburg said in a news release.
The bag was found on Feb. 18, 1982, behind a now-shuttered business in Twinsburg, about 25 miles southeast of Cleveland.
After relatives said the remains could be Little’s, a close relative provided a DNA sample and Little’s identity was confirmed by the Summit County medical examiner, authorities said.
The medical examiner ruled Little’s death a homicide, according to the news release.
The department did not provide additional details about the manner of death, and did not identify a cause of death.
Little, who was born in Cleveland in 1943, had two children and served in the U.S. Army, deploying to Vietnam, the Twinsburg Police Department said. According to the news release, in the mid-1960s he played with the O’Jays, then a fledgling R&B group that had formed in Canton, south of Cleveland.
The band would go on to release dozens of top-20 singles and albums. In 2005, the O’Jays were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A representative for the band did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Little’s last known address was in Cleveland, and he was last seen in the 1970s, the Twinsburg police said. Few details were known about the circumstances of his disappearance or death, the department said.
Little’s daughter died in 2012, the release said. The department hadn’t yet been able to contact his son.