A Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader has been found dead near a river in Missouri. Frank Ancona, who had been reported missing the day before, had a gunshot wound to his head.

Ancona was last seen on his way to work on 8 February by his wife, the Daily Journal reported. Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen told reporters that authorities learned on Facebook that Ancona was missing and told a Federal Forestry Service employee has located his vehicle in the Mark Twain National Park in Potosi.

"On Saturday morning (11 February) 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."

Jacobsen told ABC News one subject was arrested on an unrelated warrant and two search warrants were executed in Washington County, Missouri.

According to the Washington County deputy coroner, Ancona's body was discovered on an access road to the Big River near Belgrade, Missouri, a few miles from where Ancona's vehicle was recovered, KMOV reported.

Jacobsen told reporters that no one has been charged in Ancona's death "but that may change tomorrow".

Leadwood Police Chief William Dickey said Ancona's wife, Malissa Ancona, was asked about a Facebook post she wrote looking for a roommate and told authorities she posted it the day her husband left after he told her that he would file for divorce. She said she figured she would need help paying rent and put out the Facebook post, Dickey said.

All of Ancona's firearms were also missing, Dickey told the Daily Journal. The 51-year-old victim was a self-proclaimed imperial wizard of a KKK chapter near St Louis.

Ancona had been interviewed by the media representing the KKK. He spoke with MSNBC's Chris Hayes in 2014 to defend fliers distributed by the Klan during protests in Ferguson, Missouri.