Mille Lacs human remains: Accused killer's girlfriend charged after fake fingernail found in storage container

The victims remains were found on Twilight Road near Mille Lacs Lake. (FOX 9)

The girlfriend of an accused killer faces charges after her press-on nail was found inside a storage bin with human remains near Mille Lacs Lake, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Alexis Elling, 21, with aiding an offender–accomplice after the fact after she allegedly admitted to helping Bradley Weyaus Jr. move the container from the house where the victim was believed to have been killed, knowing there was a body inside, charges said.

Weyaus, 21, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, interference with a dead body or scene of death by concealing a body, concealing evidence and fleeing police in a vehicle. 

Discovery of the remains

On March 21, a group of public work employees were clearing an area on Twilight Road near Mille Lacs Lake when they discovered an abandoned plastic storage container off the side of the road

The employees opened the container bound with industrial tape and bungee cords and saw a severed human foot inside, charges said. They immediately contacted the police. 

Police said the storage container contained the body of a 25-year-old man wrapped in a tarp. Authorities found a fake press-on fingernail, carpet pieces stained with blood, industrial tape, rubber gloves and additional items, charges said.

The man had shotgun pellets to the upper chest and throat area and his foot had been severed. The medical examiner determined his death was a homicide, according to the complaint.

The 25-year-old had been reported missing from the area on or before March 20. Law enforcement learned Weyaus may have been involved in the man’s disappearance and said he was recently seen with an "unusually heavy storage container" several times in the area, charges said. 

Law enforcement took Weyaus into custody on Tuesday following a pursuit. They searched his car and duffel bags where they found evidence related to the crime, according to court documents. 

The evidence

After Weyaus was taken into custody, authorities searched his car and found a spent shotgun shell casing and a fake press-on fingernail, charges said. They also searched his two duffel bags which contained a hammer, hacksaw and industrial tape. Authorities say the industrial tape appeared to match the tape on the storage container which also matched a receipt that was later found.

The carpet from the bin was traced back to a house on Main Street where investigators believed the death and dismemberment of the 25-year-old took place. Authorities found portions where the carpet had been removed from the floor and recovered parts of the carpet in the dumpster along with several trash bags containing evidence, court documents state.

Inside the trash bags was an identification card cut in half belonging to the victim and empty boxes of shotgun shells, charges said. 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. 

Leading up to the discovery

In an interview with investigators, Elling claimed Weyaus told her he killed the 25-year-old, and she also helped move the storage container knowing there was a body inside of it, the complaint alleges.

On March 19, Weyaus contacted Elling’s roommate and asked for a ride from the house on Main Street, so he could go buy a white Saturn. Before leaving the house, Weyaus and Elling removed the storage container wrapped with industrial tape and bungee cords and placed it inside the roommate’s car, court documents state.

They dropped the container off at the roommate’s residence in Wahkon and Weyaus went to buy the vehicle. 

Elling claimed that same day she removed a long gun case from the house on Main Street and stored it at the place she shared with the roommate. She later sold the shotgun to someone for "controlled substances," charges said.

According to court documents, Elling claims she did not help put the body in the container, and it was already loaded and sealed when she was made aware of it. However, she allegedly admitted the fake fingernail found inside the bin belonged to her. 

Authorities have not provided a motive for the killing.

Elling made her first court appearance Friday morning and the judge set her bail at $500,000, according to court documents.