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Woman charged in connection to Mille Lacs Lake homicide

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office said the primary murder suspect's girlfriend was arrested at a gas station on March 23.

MILLE LACS, Minn. — A second person is now facing charges in connection to the murder of a 25-year-old Isle man near Mille Lacs Lake.

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday that police had been searching for 22-year-old Alexis Elling, of Rochester, for about 24 hours before she was arrested at a gas station on March 23 following a traffic stop.

According to police, Elling was the girlfriend of 21-year-old Bradley Weyaus, who is charged with murder and other offenses for the death of Rodney Pendegayosh Jr. 

Elling is charged with aiding an offender – accomplice after the fact, and according to a criminal complaint, admitted to investigators that she helped move the storage container that held Pendegayosh's body after he was killed.

In court documents, prosecutors said Elling told police that Weyaus admitted to killing Pendegayosh, but said she did not help put his body in the container. 

She also admitted that a fake fingernail found inside the storage container belonged to her, the complaint said.

On Wednesday, the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office said highway maintenance workers located human remains in a tote wrapped in bungee cords and industrial tape along the Mille Lacs Lake shoreline on March 21. According to a criminal complaint, one day before the remains were found the family of Rodney Pendegayosh Jr. had reported him missing and through the course of their investigation, police learned that Weyaus might've been involved.

"We didn't have any reason to think this was a random act of violence at all," Sheriff Burton told KARE 11. "There's a back story to this."

Mille Lacs County Sheriff Kyle Burton said he plans to hold a press conference Monday and "connect the dots" on relationships between the victim and suspects, and why he may have been killed. 

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