According to CNN, police in the small coastal town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, are looking into the disappearance of a woman whose husband’s internet searches revealed searches for how to dismember a body, and prosecutors say blood and a bloodied knife were discovered in the couple’s basement.
Ana Walshe, a 39-year-old mother of three, went missing on January 4 after coworkers reported her missing, prompting police to question her 47-year-old husband, Brian Walshe, about his actions and movements in the days before.
Many of his statements, however, were “untruthful,” according to an affidavit filed by police.
As police continue their search for his wife, Brian Walshe has been charged criminally with misleading investigators in the case. Walshe has pleaded not guilty and is already awaiting sentencing for a previous federal fraud conviction.
Investigators recently uncovered new information that turned their focus from a missing persons search to suspicions that Ana Walshe may have been killed, including her husband’s internet record showing searches about dismemberment and “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body,” according to two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.
According to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey, “a number of items” were collected in searches north of Boston on Monday and are being processed and tested. Ana Walshe’s disappearance was also described as “suspicious.” in the statement.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation, investigators were searching through the trash of a transfer station in the city of Peabody on Monday night for the potential remains of the missing mother. The trash was delivered to the station, about an hour north of Cohasset, by sanitation crews early last week, according to the source.
According to CNN, crime scene tape was also placed around dumpsters in an apartment complex near Brian Walshe’s mother’s home in Swampscott, about 15 miles north of Boston. According to the affidavit, Brian Walshe told police he went to see his mother on January 1, the same day he told police he last saw his wife.
Authorities said that late last week, investigators launched a broad search for Ana Walshe, enlisting the help of local and state police departments, K-9 units, police divers, and state police air units, and scouring the wooded area surrounding the family’s home.
Officials said Saturday that the ground search had been called off after two days, but that it would resume if new information came in.
Walshe has three children, ages two, four, and six, according to prosecutors in court on Monday. According to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, the children are in their care.
Meanwhile, her friends and family can only hope and wait.
“We are heartbroken. Ana is a shining example of love and joy “In a statement to CNN, family friend Peter Kirby said. “She brightens every room. We miss her and are doing everything we can to help her three wonderful children.”
Police were allegedly misled by the husband’s timeline.
Ana Walshe’s colleagues at the real estate firm Tishman Speyer reported her missing on January 4, according to prosecutors.
Brian Walshe’s attorney stated in court on Monday that he had contacted the office because he had not heard from her.
Brian Walshe told police that he last saw his wife the morning of January 1. According to the affidavit, she told him she needed to fly to Washington, DC, because of a work emergency.
“Ana got ready and kissed him goodbye and told him to go back to sleep,” he said to police, according to the affidavit.
He told investigators that she usually took a rideshare or a taxi to the airport.
According to the affidavit, Brian Walshe went to see his mother in Swampscott that afternoon and ran errands for her at the local Whole Foods and CVS.
Prosecutors said in court Monday that investigators found no evidence of Ana Walshe taking a rideshare from their house that morning. According to Commonwealth Prosecutor Lynn Beland, her phone was also pinged near her home on January 1 and 2.
“The fact that he was asked a specific question and he gave an untruthful answer that led investigators out of the area caused a clear delay in the search for the missing person, Ana Walshe,” according to the affidavit.
As he awaits sentencing on his prior fraud conviction, Brian Walshe is under home confinement and wears an ankle bracelet, which means he must get permission to leave his house for approved activities at specific locations and times, according to police.
According to the affidavit, he made multiple unapproved trips the week of his wife’s disappearance, including to a Home Depot, where he was seen on surveillance video wearing a surgical mask and surgical gloves and making a cash purchase. Prosecutors claimed he spent $450 on cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket, and tarps, in court on Monday.
According to Beland, “blood was found in the basement area as well as (a) knife which also contained some blood,” while police were executing a search warrant on the couple’s home on Sunday.
According to two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation, the warrant was obtained based on the husband’s internet search history about body disposal and his large cleaning supplies purchase.
Walshe’s bail was set at $500,000 cash at his arraignment on the charge of misleading investigators on Monday. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 9.
Last year, her husband pleaded guilty to fraud.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Brian Walshe was charged with wire fraud in May 2018 after the FBI claimed he sold two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay.
According to the FBI, Brian or Ana used her eBay account to sell the paintings in November 2016, less than a year after their marriage.
The complaint does not accuse Ana of any wrongdoing, but it does state that she spoke with the buyer of the fake paintings after the buyer discovered the paintings were not authentic and located her work number.
Prosecutors also claimed that Brian Walshe stole real artwork from a friend, promising to sell it but never doing so. Prosecutors claim he did not pay the friend for the artwork.
A federal grand jury indicted him in October 2018 on four charges in the case, including wire fraud, interstate transportation for a fraudulent scheme, possession of converted goods, and unlawful monetary transaction.
According to court documents, he pleaded guilty to three of the four counts last year in exchange for a prosecutors’ recommended sentence of incarceration, supervised release, fines, restitution, and forfeiture. He also agreed to either return or pay for the artworks.
The case is still open, according to the online docket, because the judge has not formally sentenced him and the US Attorney’s Office is investigating Brian Walshe’s finances.
Ana Walshe expressed gratitude to the court in a letter dated June 1, 2022, for allowing her husband to remain at home while his art fraud case wound its way through federal court.
“Brian has been working consistently on breaking the past habits of his family and we are all looking forward to the new chapter of his life,” she wrote.
Anyone with information about Walshe’s whereabouts should contact Det. Harrison Schmidt at 781-383-1055, extension 6108, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave a Reply