Frank Ancona, the professed leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was shot and killed in Missouri last week in what officials called a “tragic and senseless act of violence.” His wife and stepson were charged in his death on Monday.
His body was found on a riverbank on Saturday with gunshot wounds to the head, according to the Washington County coroner, Brian DeClue, who called the death a homicide.
In an interview, he said that Mr. Ancona, 51, was killed with “a shotgun of some sort.” Jerrod Mahurin, the prosecutor in the case, said Mr. Ancona was also shot in the head with a 9-millimeter handgun.
On Monday, Mr. Ancona’s wife, Malissa Ancona, 44, and stepson, Paul Jinkerson Jr., 24, were charged with a range of crimes in connection with the killing, including first-degree murder and the abandonment of a corpse, according to the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department.
The sheriff said Mr. Ancona was killed at his home last Thursday, and his body was then left at a remote location. Mr. Mahurin said he believed the killing happened because of a marital dispute and was not connected to Mr. Ancona’s membership in the K.K.K.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said that it learned of Mr. Ancona’s disappearance on Friday, shortly before his vehicle was discovered on land owned by the United States Forest Service. His body was found on the banks of the Big River in Belgrade, Mo., the next day by a family who had gone to fish.