Police don't know how Charles Crusoe ended up dead in a wooded area in Anne Arundel County not far from the Chesapeake Bay. He was from Washington and worked for United Life insurance company in Silver Spring. At one time, police said, Crusoe had played part-time with the Ohio Players, the popular funk and R&B band with two No. 1 hit songs: "Fire" and "Love Rollercoaster."

But the 29-year-old Crusoe had no ties to Anne Arundel County, at least none that police could find.

His body was found Feb. 2, 1974, near Pasadena by a local resident walking through the sparsely populated forest. Crusoe was bound and tied.

"He certainly didn't go voluntarily," said Detective John Gajda, of the Anne Arundel County police cold case squad. "It's one thing to be shot in the woods, but to be tied up first, he obviously was transported there against his will. Someone may have wanted to teach him a lesson and it went too far."

The weather had been very cold during the time before his body was found, so police are not sure how long his body had been there.

Two days after his body was found, the vehicle Crusoe has been driving -- a new brown 1974 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a beige top -- was found abandoned in Los Angeles. The car, an Avis rental that Crusoe had used for about four months, was still in good shape.

Police said Crusoe lived in the 2400 block of 16th Street NW. His girlfriend was the last person to see him and reported him missing on Jan. 24, 1974.

Crusoe had dabbled part-time with the Ohio Players, who happened to be playing in D.C. around the time of his disappearance, Gajda said. Police do not have any information that he went to see the band.

Crusoe was described as very recognizable, and police hope that someone will see his photo and remember him, then provide information that will help investigators solve the case. Police are also hoping that someone who knows about the killing will have a change of heart and come forward.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Anne Arundel County police cold case squad at 410-222-3456.