The wife and stepson of a Ku Klux Klan leader who was found fatally shot next to a river in eastern Missouri have been charged with murder, reports CBS affiliate KMOV.
Malissa Ancona, 44, and her son, Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr., 24, have each been charged with abandonment of a corpse, first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence, reports the station.
A family that was fishing found the body of 51-year-old Frank Ancona on Saturday, along the Big River near the tiny town of Belgrade, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis. An autopsy conducted Sunday revealed he died of a gunshot to the head.
According to a probable cause statement obtained by KMOV, Ancona was shot and killed while inside his bedroom, allegedly by Jinkerson Jr. After the shooting, Ancona’s body was placed in Jinkerson’s vehicle and dumped in Belgrade.
The Park Hills Daily Journal said investigators placed yellow police tape around Ancona’s home in Leadwood Saturday. His safe had been broken into and the contents removed. Several of Ancona’s guns were missing, police told the Daily Journal.
According to police, when they searched Ancona’s home, they found “extensive blood evidence” in the master bedroom, KMOV reports.
Malissa Ancona allegedly told police her son, Jinkerson Jr., killed Ancona while he was asleep. She also allegedly said she didn’t file a police report, and attempted to destroy and hide evidence, the station reports.
Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said a U.S. Forest Service employee found Ancona’s car Thursday on a service road near Potosi, about 30 miles from where his body was eventually found. Ancona was reported missing Friday after his employer told Leadwood police that Ancona had not shown up for work for two days.
Investigators found evidence of a burn pile near Ancona’s abandoned vehicle, Jacobsen said.
Prior to the discovery of Ancona’s body, Malissa Ancona told police her husband had left the state on a delivery job. She said he planned to file for divorce when he returned.
Ancona called himself an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. A website for the group includes an image of Ancona in a white hood and robe standing in front of a burning cross. The website describes the group as a “White Patriotic Christian organization that bases its roots back to the Ku Klux Klan of the early 20th century.”
Malissa Alcona was the last to see her husband alive at their Leadwood home, reports CBS affiliate KMOV.
In an interview with KMOV on Feb. 12, several hours before her arrest, Malissa Ancona gave two different accounts of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, first saying she thought she had to wait 48 hours to report him missing, and then saying she thought he took off.
“He kept saying he needed a break, so you know that’s kinda what I thought he was doing at first was taking a break,” Alcona said.
Malissa Alcona told the station she was “cooperating” and allowed investigators to come into her home without a search warrant. She said her husband had received threats because of his affiliation with the KKK, but she wasn’t sure if anyone wanted to hurt him.
She described him as “generous and nice.”
“He doesn’t think any of us should be like, killed or murdered or anything like that, he just believes in separation of the races,” Alcona said.
Calls Monday requesting comment from nearby Leadwood police and the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the county prosecutor, were not immediately returned.
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