The body of a missing leader of the Ku Klux Klan was found with a gunshot wound to the head on Saturday, police said, after searching an entire day for him.
Frank Ancona, 51, had been reported missing on Thursday through a Facebook post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. But not long after his car was found abandoned on a forestry service road in Potosi, Mo.
“Deputies responded on Friday and located the vehicle and secured it,” said Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen. “We left deputies at the scene and secured it overnight due to the loss of light.”
Authorities continued their search on Saturday morning and arrested one man on an unrelated charge. While they were in the process of serving that warrant, authorities received a call that a family that had gone fishing had found a body near the bank of the Big River, near Belgrade, Mo., about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis.
He was identified as Ancona and county medical examiners determined that his death was a homicide.
Ancona billed himself an “imperial wizard” of the Traditional American Knights, a Ku Klux Klan faction located in Missouri. His group had taken a stance against demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo. in the aftermath of the death of Mike Brown in 2015. The group passed out leaflets around the St. Louis area, encouraging the use of “use lethal force” in defense against anyone they saw as threatening.
Jacobsen said the homicide investigation will continue. It is unclear if the person arrested by authorities is connected with Ancona’s death. “Right now no one has been charged in his death, but that may change tomorrow,” Jacobsen said.