KKK imperial wizard found dead on Missouri riverbank

PHOTO: Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan Frank Ancona is pictured in this undated image from the official website of The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.PlayTraditionalistAmericanKnights.com
WATCH Wife, stepson charged with murder in death of Missouri KKK leader

The body of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had been missing for several days was found on a Missouri riverbank, according to police.

Frank Ancona, 51, the self-proclaimed imperial wizard of a KKK chapter near St. Louis, according to a website promoting the group, was found dead by members of a family who went to the Big River in Missouri to go fishing, according to Daily Journal, a local newspaper.

Ancona was last seen heading for work on Wednesday morning by his wife, Daily Journal reported.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office in Missouri referred ABC News to a statement about Ancona's death on its Facebook page.

"On Friday the Washington County Sheriff's Office learned of the disappearance of Frank Ancona, who was missing from Leadwood, Missouri. During this time, we were also informed Mr. Ancona's vehicle had been located by a United States Federal Forest Service employee on Federal Forest Service property," the statement, which is attributed to Sheriff Zach Jacobsen, begins.

Jacobsen said his office reached out to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for help with the case on Ancona's disappearance. During the investigation that followed, he said, one subject was arrested on an unrelated warrant and two search warrants were executed in Washington County.

After the body was found, it was taken by the Washington County Corner's Office for an autopsy, where it was identified as Ancona's, Jacobsen said.

A cause of death has not been released at this time, Jacobsen said.

"The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like to extend our sympathy to Mr. Ancona's family and friends. I would like to thank the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the St. Francois County Sheriff's Office for their assistance and professionalism during this tragic and senseless act of violence. I would also like to thank my staff for the professionalism and dedication they show day in and day out for our great community and to the citizens of Missouri," the statement concludes.

Ancona previously conducted interviews with media, speaking on behalf of the Klu Klux Klan.

In 2014 he appeared on the MSNBC show "All In With Chris Hayes" and defended fliers that the Klan distributed during the protests that took place in Ferguson, Missouri, that year.

The fliers threatened "lethal force" against "terrorists masquerading as 'peaceful protesters.'"

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