Police tape
Police tape stretches across a road as police inspect and guard the area outside the New South Wales (NSW) state police headquarters located in the south western Sydney suburb of Parramatta, Australia, October 2, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

The wife and stepson of a local Ku Klux Klan leader, Frank Ancona, have been taken into custody and charged of his murder. The charges brought against Malissa Ann Ancona and Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr include abandonment of a corpse, first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Frank, who called himself an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of Ku Klux Klan, was last seen on Feb. 8. He had told his wife he was going to divorce her before leaving for a delivery job. His body was discovered on the third day, Feb. 11, near the Big River in eastern Missouri, US.

Frank’s car had been found by the authorities two days previously. The vehicle was found to have been wiped cleaned with chemicals. Burned clothes were also discovered nearby.

The victim was fatally shot allegedly by his stepson, Jinkerson Jr, in the bedroom, as noted by the probable cause statement. The body was loaded in Jinkerson’s vehicle after the incident and eventually dumped.

St Francois County Prosecutor Jerrod Mahurin said Malissa participated in the crime. "From the evidence we have she was an active participant all the way through, although the evidence we have is that he would have been the one who actually pulled the trigger,” Mahurin said, speaking with News 4. "They found multiple video from different places that showed where she was and who she was with and it just did not match up with her story at all.”

Suspecting that Frank was killed in his home, officers had cordoned the area on Feb. 11 by placing a yellow police tape. Contents from his safe were found to have been taken. As reported by the Park Hills Daily Journal, his guns were also missing.

According to court documents, Malissa said Frank was murdered in his sleep by her biological son. Malissa did not file a police report after the incident. She allegedly attempted to tamper the blood evidence and altered the crime scene in an effort to hide the evidence. She said she did this in concert with Jinkerson Jr. When investigators searched Frank’s bedroom, they found “extensive blood evidence.”

Jinkerson's attorney, Eric Barnhart, has denied that his client was involved in the incident. Barnhart has not commented further.

The death caused by a gunshot wound to the head was ruled as a homicide. Jinkerson Jr was taken into custody over the weekend on an unrelated warrant. Malissa was arrested on Sunday night.