Rochester woman pleads guilty in connection with murder, dismemberment of man in Mille Lacs County

A Rochester woman pleaded guilty in connection with the murder of 25-year-old Rodney Pendegayosh Jr. along Mille Lacs Lake in 2023.

Twenty-two-year-old Alexis Marion Elling pleaded guilty to aiding an offender in a deal that calls for a stayed sentence of 60 months in prison, testimony against her codefendant and up to five years of supervised probation.

Elling was initially charged with one count of aiding an offender in March 2023, according to court records.

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A criminal complaint states that on March 21, 2023, law enforcement in Mille Lacs County were informed that public works employees working near Mille Lacs Lake had found a storage container bound with bungee cords and industrial tape. The workers opened the container and found the body and severed foot of Pendegayosh, who had been missing from the area.

Law enforcement also found carpet pieces with blood stains, industrial tape, rubber gloves and a fake, press-on nail inside the container, according to the complaint.

Throughout the course of the investigation, Elling’s boyfriend, Bradley Allen Weyaus Jr., was arrested and charged with one count of intentional second-degree murder, one count of fleeing police in a motor vehicle and two counts of interfering with a dead body or scene of death — one count for concealing a body and the other for concealing evidence.

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Officials searched Weyaus’ vehicle and found duffel bags with a hacksaw, gloves and industrial tape, the complain states. Law enforcement also found an expended shotgun shell and a fake, press-on nail.

A search of a home where investigators suspect Pendegayosh was killed and dismembered revealed the carpet at the crime scene matched the carpet fibers inside the home, the complaint states.

Weyaus’ case is ongoing. He is expected back in court on April 25 for a contested omnibus hearing.

The complaint states that Elling spoke with law enforcement and admitted to helping Weyaus move the body, although she said she didn’t see the body at all. She also told law enforcement the fake nail was hers.

Court documents say the state is seeking an aggravated sentence in Elling’s case due to the fact that the victim was treated with particular cruelty and because Elling acted in a group.

Court records show that at the time of this publishing, Elling’s sentencing date had not yet been set.