Isle man in custody after human remains found

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff responded to the incident, reported at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in Kathio Township, on the 14200 block of Twilight Road.

A photo of the scene from a drone.
A drone photo of a tote containing human remains found Tuesday, March 21, 2023, along the shoreline of Mille Lacs Lake in Mille Lacs County.
Contributed / Mille Lacs County Sheriff

KATHIO TOWNSHIP — A 21-year-old Isle man is in custody after human remains were found Tuesday, March 21, along the shoreline of Mille Lacs Lake in Mille Lacs County.

Bradley Allen Weyaus, was charged Thursday 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.

Bradley Allen Weyaus
Bradley Allen Weyaus
Contributed / Mille Lacs County Jail

Mille Lacs County Sheriff Kyle Burton said that based on the existence of tattoos found on the body, law enforcement made the preliminary determination the deceased man is Rodney Pendegayosh Jr., 25, of Isle.

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 Tuesday, 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 storage container was plastic and bound with bungee cords as well as industrial tape. The employees attempted to move the storage container but encountered difficulties due to the weight and location. At that time, the employees opened the container and observed a severed human foot. The employees immediately contacted law enforcement.

A law enforcement officer was responding to the scene when a white Saturn traveling in the same direction refused to pull to the side and let the officer pass. Instead, the driver of the Saturn began accelerating at a high rate of speed. The officer recognized the vehicle as being associated with Weyaus.

In pursuit of the white Saturn, the chase approached the location of the storage container on Twilight Road and Saturn made a high‐speed turn away from the location and in the direction of Highway 169.

Law enforcement located the Saturn on a rural property near Southport Road in Mille Lacs County. A resident of the property indicated the individual driving the Saturn was Weyaus and he was hiding in one of the buildings on the property. He was seen exiting the vehicle with one or more duffel bags.

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.

In a search of the Saturn’s interior, a spent shotgun shell was found.


Law enforcement determined Weyaus was seen 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.

Inside the residence, law enforcement located a handwritten note to the apartment's owner, which indicated remorse and sorrow for causing them trouble, with the note’s author saying they would be leaving for a long time due to their mistake. The author of the note further said they would not allow themselves to be captured by law enforcement.

A search of the 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.

Around March 19, Weyaus requested a ride from the Main Street residence to purchase a white Saturn automobile. Before leaving the residence, he and another person removed a storage container wrapped with industrial tape and bungee cords from the residence. They carried the storage container out of the residence and placed it inside the vehicle.

They drove Weyaus along with the storage container back to their residence in Wahkon — where the storage container was unloaded and left there — before driving Weyaus to purchase the white Saturn.

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.

As of Thursday afternoon, Weyaus remained in custody in the Mille Lacs County Jail. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office is examining the remains to make positive identification of the deceased.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension along with the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, Mille Lacs Tribal Police, Isle Police and the Aitkin-Itasca-Mille Lacs Violent Offender Task Force are actively working on the investigation.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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