A Minnesota couple stands accused of killing a man who they thought dealt the female suspect’s brother a fatal mixture of fentanyl and meth, then concealed his remains in a tote bag found by a maintenance crew cleaning garbage along a snowy highway in Minnesota.
Bradley Allen Weyaus and Alexis Elling face charges in the death of Rodney Pendegayosh Jr., 25.
Weyaus was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and fleeing an officer. Elling faces charges of aiding an offender and acting as an accomplice.
Mille Lacs County Sheriff Kyle Burton said Tuesday the case is one of the most unusual in his 23 years as a cop.
“This whole thing is truly bizarre,” Burton said in a news conference on Tuesday. “This body was moved multiple places for a period of possibly up to a week before the discovery was made.”
Two arrests have been made, and others are possible, Burton said.
Burton laid out the timeline after public works employees discovered the missing Pendegayosh’s remains in a bag while cleaning trash off a road on March 20.
The workers first tried to move the bag onto the road to load it up and cart it off, but it wouldn’t budge.
“It’s too heavy,” the sheriff said. “So they hook a chain onto one of the handles of it, hook it up to one of their trucks. They try to drag it out that way. It breaks the handle, so they’re not able to move it that way.”
Curious about what was inside, they cut into the black duct tape and bungee cords and took a peek inside.
“They see what they believe to be a severed human foot,” the sheriff said.
They closed the tote and called the police.
On the way, an officer spotted a white Saturn believed to be driven by the suspect and got into a pursuit.
The officer lost the driver and found the car later stuck in a driveway in an apparent hasty getaway, Burton said. Nobody was inside.
The homeowners told officers that a man got out of the car carrying duffel bags and ran into a camper trailer on the property, and to their knowledge, they told officers, the man was still there.
Officers found Weyaus hiding in the back corner of the trailer and arrested him.
A search of a duffel bag uncovered a hacksaw, a hammer, and black tape similar to the tape found on the plastic tote, Burton said.
In a dumpster at the grandmother’s apartment where the suspect lived, police found a cut and rolled up bloody carpet, gloves and a hardware store receipt where some of the stuff appeared to have been bought.
Also, in the dumpster, police found the victim’s ID and credit card and the suspect’s bloody clothing that authorities sent to a crime lab to test for DNA.
In the Saturn, police recovered a spent shotgun shell. No gun was found.
The sheriff said surveillance video shows the suspects carrying the tote bag out of the apartment and loading it into a black Chevrolet Impala on March 19, a few days before police discovered the body.
The sheriff said the suspects killed the victim because he sold Elling’s brother a fatal dose of a mixture of fentanyl and meth on Jan. 10.
“We can’t confirm that he was 100% involved in it, but his name was mentioned by witnesses,” Burton said. “We believe, based on the evidence we’ve gathered so far and the interviews we have conducted, that that was the reason why he was targeted.”
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