BELGRADE, MO – The imperial wizard of the Traditionalist Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Frank Ancona, was found dead on Saturday.
Ancona, who lived in Leadwood, Missouri, had been missing since Wednesday. Police called the 51-year-old’s disappearance suspicious, according to the Associated Press.
A U.S. Forest Service employee found Ancona’s vehicle on a remote road in Potosi on Friday. Authorities searched the area, but didn’t find Ancona. However, according to Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen, they did find evidence of a burn pile near Ancona’s vehicle.
On Saturday, a family fishing near Big River found Ancona’s body, according to the Daily Journal of Park Hills.
“We processed the scene and the body was transported by the Washington County Coroner’s office for an autopsy to determine a cause of death,” said Jacobsen. “The body was positively identified as Frank Ancona and his family was notified.”
Jacobsen said the search wasn’t easy, especially because of comments posted on social media.
“Law enforcement was attacked terribly on Facebook and officers were called in on their days off to help,” said Jacobsen. “At the end of the day, the professionalism shined through all the negativity and we were able to bring some closure to the family.”
Ancona’s wife, Malissa Ancona, told authorities that her husband got a call from his job and had to drive across the state to deliver a part. However, his job said they never sent such a request, according to the Daily Journal Online.
Authorities also said they could not initially reach Malissa after Frank was reported missing. After officers decided to search their home, Malissa and Frank’s stepson showed up. Authorities found a safe inside the home that appeared to have been beaten with a crowbar. All of the contents inside were gone, although police did not believe it was a robbery.
Police questioned Malissa about a Facebook post she wrote on the day Frank disappeared, in which she said she was looking for a new roommate. Malissa told investigators Frank intended to divorce her when he returned from his work assignment, and she figured she would need a roommate to pay bills.
Authorities said all of Frank’s firearms were missing. Malissa told investigators her husband took them with him.
An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.