Locals found the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard, or leader, dead on Feb. 11. A family fishing in the area found 51-year-old Frank Ancona near the Big River in Missouri.
Sheriff Zach Jacobsen from Washington County, Mo., released a statement Saturday night about the finding. He said officials are conducting an autopsy and they have not yet released the cause of death of the “tragic and senseless act of violence.”
Jacobsen said that, while investigating, officials arrested one subject on an unrelated warrant and executed two search warrants in Washington County.
“Subsequently, a body was discovered on the bank of the Big River near Belgrade, Mo., in southern Washington County,” he said. “The body was identified as Mr. Ancona, and his family has been notified.”
Prior to his death, authorities learned that Ancona was missing on Friday after nobody reported seeing him since last Wednesday. During a search, a U.S. Forest Service employee found Ancona’s 2015 black Ford Fusion near Potosi. The employee reported the finding and police secured the area.
Interestingly, the police did not learn of the missing person until Ancona’s employer called the police department on Friday. Ancona’s wife said that work called her husband to deliver a vehicle part across the state. However, the employer claims he never asked Ancona to complete such a task.
When police searched Ancona’s home, they found a damaged safe. Officials say it looked like someone used a crowbar to break entry, as everything was missing, including Ancona’s firearms.
According to reports, police also questioned Ancona’s wife, Malissa, about a post on Facebook. The day Ancona went missing, she posted a status on the site asking for potential new roommates. When asked about the post, she explained her husband planned on filing for divorce upon his return.
As days without contact went by, Ancona’s wife also took to Facebook. On Friday, he posted a status that no one heard from his dad and “no one has seen his car or seen him personally.”
“His bank account hasn’t been used, his cellphone has been turned off and goes straight to voicemail,” he wrote. “Time is ticking. The more time we wait, the stronger the bad possibilities become.”
Many know Ancona for posting KKK recruiting and ceremonial videos on YouTube. A local media publication also profiled him in a domestic terrorism series. In the past, Ancona described his Klan faction as a Christian organization and fraternal order, despite the openly white supremacist language of the organization.
“The only things secret about the Klan are that our rituals and ceremonies are only for members to see,” he said. “That’s part of the mystique of being a member.”
Ancona’s death is an ongoing investigation.