Accused murderer and girlfriend make court appearance
Workers found a body with a severed foot in a storage tote on March 21 in Mille Lacs County.
MILACA — A man accused of murder in Mille Lacs County and his girlfriend, who is accused of aiding in the murder, made their initial court appearances Tuesday, April 4, on the criminal charges.
Bradley Allen Weyaus was charged March 23 with second-degree murder, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, interference with a dead body or scene of death-concealing a body and evidence in connection with the death of Rodney Pendagayosh, whose body was found in a tote along the shores of Mille Lacs Lake.
Weyaus’ girlfriend, Alexis Marion Elling, 21, of Rochester, was arrested at a gas station in Onamia March 23 and charged with felony aiding an offender as an accomplice after the fact.
Both Weyaus and Elling made their appearances in Mille Lacs County District Court before Judge Gail Kulick via Zoom. Elling made her court appearance from the Kanabec County Jail.
Weyaus was told in court the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe would not be representing him due to a conflict of interest. Both Weyaus and Elling are being represented by public attorneys.
Elling and Weyaus remain in custody as of Wednesday, April 5. Weyaus is due back in court on June 20 and Elling is due back in court on April 18.
Bradley Allen Weyaus
On Jan. 10, 2023, Brandon Elling, 23, brother of Alexis Elling, died from an overdose of fentanyl on the 37000 block of Stevens Road in Wahkon. During the investigation surrounding the death of Brandon Elling, Mille Lacs County Sheriff Kyle Burton said law enforcement was told Rodney Pendegayosh Jr., 25, of Isle, may have been involved.
According to court documents, law enforcement received information around March 20 about Pendegayosh being missing from the area.
When talking with family members, officers learned Weyaus may have been involved with the disappearance and was seen several times in the area with a storage container bound with bungee cords and industrial tape. He had also recently been seen driving a white Saturn automobile.
On March 21, Mille Lacs County highway maintenance workers were clearing an area on Twilight Road near Mille Lacs Lake. During this operation, the employees discovered a storage container abandoned off the side of Twilight Road. The black storage container was bound with bungee cords as well as industrial tape.
The maintenance workers hooked up a vehicle to the tote due to its immense weight and positioning on the side of the road. When they tried to pull the tote out, they broke a handle on the tote, so they decided to cut it open and see what was inside. The workers opened the container, saw a severed human foot and immediately contacted law enforcement.
Weyaus was eventually located and arrested on warrants and for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. Officers recovered two duffel bags with a number of items, including a hammer, a hacksaw and industrial tape. The industrial tape appeared to match that located on the storage container.
Law enforcement determined Weyaus was recently staying at a residence on Main Street in Isle and he was seen with a storage container at that location. A search of the residence revealed there were several areas of carpet removed from the floor of the residence.
A search of a dumpster connected to the residence located several trash bags, which had several pieces of carpet with stains indicative of blood embedded within them. The carpet also appeared to match the carpet in the residence.
Law enforcement located an identification card, cut into two pieces, belonging to Pendegayosh. Also within the trash bags, law enforcement located a receipt from a local hardware store that recorded the purchase of items including tools such as a knife and tool sharpener as well as rubber gloves, a black mask, industrial tape and empty boxes for 12-gauge shotgun shells.
A preliminary examination of the storage container found near the lake determined it contained the body of a deceased male whose foot had been severed. Also inside the container were portions of carpet that matched the type observed in the Main Street residence and located in the nearby dumpster.
The container was wrapped with industrial tape that matched the item identified in the hardware store receipts. In addition, there were gloves that appeared to match those identified in the receipt.
Pendegayosh's throat area contained several pellets of a type found in buckshot shotgun shells.
Alexis Marion Elling
According to court documents, law enforcement made contact March 23 with Elling and spoke to her regarding the homicide. She admitted to being in a relationship with Weyaus and had been involved with the events around the Pendegayosh murder.
Elling told investigators Weyaus told her he killed Pendegayosh and Pendegayosh’s body was in the storage container. However, she said she did not assist in placing the body in the container, which she said was already loaded and sealed when she was made aware of it. She did admit a fake fingernail found inside the storage container belonged to her.
Elling said she helped remove the container from a residence on Main Street in Isle knowing Pendegayosh’s body was inside, placing it in a vehicle and then driving it to a residence in Wahkon, where it was unloaded. She also said she took a long gun case with a shotgun inside, which was later sold for drugs, from the Isle residence.
TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email email@example.com .