Authorities have confirmed that Frank Ancona, who identified himself as the “imperial wizard” was found dead near the Big River in Washington County, Missouri. Ancona, 51, was a leader of a Missouri Ku Klux Klan.
Ancona’s body was found around the bank of the Big River in Belgrade, Missouri, by a family that was fishing there. His car was found on Friday evening on a service road in Potosi, by a federal forestry service employee. The last time he had been seen alive was on Wednesday.
“We left deputies at the scene and secured it overnight due to the loss of light,” said Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen. “On Saturday morning we conducted a search of the area by foot by a member of the Potosi Fire Protection District and the sheriff’s office. We didn’t locate much of anything in the woods, but we did locate evidence of a burn pile near Mr. Ancona’s vehicle.”
Ancona’s death is an ongoing investigation
According to Ancona’s wife, Melissa Ancona, he left his house on Wednesday. He told her that he received a call that morning from his employer saying he needed to go across the state to deliver a part. According to Melissa, he packed some clothes and all his firearms on the car. However, according to Ancona’s employer, he did not send him on the cross-state job. Family members told the police that his decision to take all his guns was unusual.
Another strange fact is that his wife posted on Facebook that she was looking for a roommate in the days his husband was missing. Apparently, he told her wife he would file for divorce as soon as he returned home, and she posted it because she would need someone to help to pay rent. The post has been deleted.
His car was found on Friday evening in Potosi, Missouri, by a Federal Forestry Service employee. However, his body wasn’t found until Saturday.
The cause of death is still unknown. Police officers continue to investigate the area. Jacobsen said that no one had been charged for Ancona’s death, but that might change.
Ancona’s activism in the Ku Klux Klan
Ancona was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The Imperial Wizard, as he was known, described his group as a Christian organization that didn’t promote hate or violence.
In the past, Ancona was quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about his role in the KKK. A website for the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan features a photo of Ancora in the characteristic white hood and robe standing in front of a burning cross.
“We of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are unapologetically committed to the interest and values of the white race! We are determined to maintain and enrich our cultural and racial heritage!” reads a banner that runs between two KKK emblems, accented with animated flames in the web page.