Murder charges filed after human remains found in storage container near Mille Lacs Lake
MILLE LACS LAKE, Minn. (FOX 9) - A 21-year-old man faces felony charges for murder and concealing a body after a construction crew found human remains inside a plastic bin on the side of the road near Mille Lacs Lake on Tuesday.
Prosecutors charged Bradley Weyaus Jr., 21, with second-degree murder, concealing a body, concealing evidence and fleeing police in a vehicle.
According to the complaint, a group of public work employees were clearing an area on Twilight Road near Mille Lacs Lake on March 21 when they discovered an abandoned plastic storage container off the side of the road.
The employees opened the container, which was bound with industrial tape and bungee cords, and saw a severed human foot inside, charges said. They immediately contacted the police.
Authorities say the container contained "the body of a deceased male individual whose foot had been severed." The victim had several pellets, consistent with buckshot gun shells, in his throat area, the complaint said.
The victim's remains were found on Twilight Road near Mille Lacs Lake. (FOX 9)
Authorities say family notification is ongoing, so the victim’s name is not being released at this time.
According to the complaint, the victim had been reported missing from the area on or before March 20. While investigating, law enforcement learned Weyaus may have been involved in the man’s disappearance.
Authorities said Weyaus was recently seen with an "unusually heavy storage container" several times in the area, charges said. He was also reported as driving a white Saturn car which investigators say in the area of the crime scene.
As law enforcement was dispatched on March 21, an investigator recognized the white Saturn driving toward the scene. The driver did not pull over for the emergency lights but instead started speeding, and law enforcement initiated a pursuit.
They followed the Saturn to a rural property and a witness told police Weyaus left his car, took duffel bags with him and went inside one of the buildings, court documents say.
Law enforcement surrounded the area and searched the building where they found Weyaus inside. He was taken into custody on other warrants as well as fleeing police.
According to the complaint, two duffel bags were recovered, which contained a hammer, hacksaw and industrial tape. Authorities say the industrial tape appeared to match the tape on the storage container.
Officers also located a spent shotgun shell casing inside his car, charges allege.
Authorities searched the residence Weyaus had been staying at and found several areas where the carpet had been removed from the floor. Parts of the carpet were recovered in the dumpster with what appeared to be blood stains along with several trash bags containing evidence.
The stained carpet appeared to match the carpet found inside the residence and the carpet found in the plastic bin with the body, according to the complaint.
Inside the trash bags, law enforcement found an identification card cut in half belonging to the victim and empty boxes of shotgun shells. They also found a receipt from a local hardware store with purchases for a knife, tool sharpener, rubber gloves, a black mask and industrial tape. The industrial tape wrapped around the container matched the receipt, the charges say.
Authorities did not provide a motive for the killing.
Weyaus made his first court appearance Thursday morning and a judge set his bail at $600,000.