The body of a missing a Ku Klux Klan leader has been found on a Missouri riverbank by a family member over the weekend. The local police said they searched for the man for several days after his wife reported him missing.
Frank Ancona, 51, who was known as the ‘imperial wizard’ in KKK circles in St. Louis, was last seen Wednesday. A family member who went fishing to the Big River found his body on the riverbank. Ancona’s wife said she last saw her husband Wednesday after he left his Leadwood Missouri home for work, a local newspaper said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said they first learned about the man’s disappearance on Friday. On Thursday, a United States Federal Forest Service worker found the man’s car parked on the agency’s property. But the worker didn’t alert the police as there was no report of a missing person.
A day later, authorities learned the man was reported missing from a Facebook post. Police began combing the area for his body. The man’s family members found him a few miles from his car on Saturday afternoon in the Big River.
Sheriff Zach Jacobsen who briefed reporters Sunday said his agency asked assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in the case. During the probe, the two agencies arrested one suspect on an unrelated warrant and executed a couple of search warrants more in Washington County. The suspect arrested on unrelated warrant is Ancona’s step son. The police are questioning the man’s wife about the death too.
Law enforcement agents took Ancona’s lifeless body to the Washington County Corner’s Office for necropsy, where the family identified him. At the time, the law enforcement agency hasn’t released an official cause of death. Several reports appeared in the meantime saying that the KKK leader died from a gunshot wound to his head.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office expressed condolences to the grieving family and friends. The office thanked the law enforcement agencies that helped it with the case. Other agencies included the Saint Francois County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Jacobsen described the incident as a “senseless act of violence”. The sheriff also thanked his agents for their professionalism and dedication to the local community and the state’s citizens.
Charges should be filed on Monday morning.
Ancona, whose full title was “the Imperial Wizard of the Traditional American Knights,” had been a vocal Klu Klux Klan supporter. He appeared in several interviews on both local and national news channels. Three years ago, MSNBC invited him to “All In” to discuss about the group’s controversial tactics in a protest in Ferguson, Missouri. At the time, Ancona defended KKK fliers that read the group would use “lethal force” against terrorists disguised as peaceful protesters.
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