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Police Release Possible Motive Behind Grisly Mille Lacs County Murder

Apr 03, 2023Apr 03, 2023

(KNSI) — Authorities in Mille Lacs County say they may have a motive behind a grisly murder discovered on March 21st.

Maintenance workers found the body of 25-year-old Rodney Pendegayosh Jr. on March 21st. According to the criminal complaint, workers discovered the tote, found dumped alongside a road on the shore of Lake Mille Lacs in Onamia. The tote was sealed shut with industrial tape and bungee cords. Workers attempted to move it, but it was quite heavy and in a tricky spot. They opened the tote to see why it was so heavy and found Pendegayosh's severed foot and immediately contacted police.

As police were heading to the scene, they said a white Saturn didn't pull over for the squad car, which had its lights and sirens activated and instead accelerated quickly. The officer pursued the driver until they came to where the tote was found, and they discontinued the chase. Other agencies found the car and got the driver stopped. They say Weyaus was the driver.

Investigators say Pendegayosh's body was wrapped in a tarp, and they found buckshot pellets in his throat and chest.

The alleged gunman, 21-year-old Bradley Weyaus and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Alexis Elling, have been arrested in the case.

According to a search warrant, Elling's brother Brandon died of a fentanyl overdose in January, and witnesses later came forward to tell police Pendegayosh was overheard bragging about "strengthening the drugs" that caused Brandon's death.

Court documents say the tote containing the body had been moved from place to place and that the killing may have happened at least two days before the discovery was made.

Weyaus is charged with second-degree murder, fleeing police, and two counts of interfering with a dead body. Elling is charged with aiding an offender after the fact. They are both due in court on April 4th.


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