Ana Walshe Case: Husband Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charges
Ana Walshe, a 39-year-old mother of three, was reported missing by coworkers on January 4, and her husband—whose internet records reveal he searched for how to dispose of a body—has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with intent to murder and unlawfully handling a dead body, days after he also pleaded not guilty to misleading investigators.
Walshe was reported missing by her coworkers at real estate agency Tishman Speyer on January 4, three days after her husband Brian Walshe told police he last saw her.
Brian Walshe, 47, told police his wife was flying to Washington, D.C., for a work emergency and she would ordinarily take a rideshare or taxi to the airport, though investigators found no evidence of her taking a car or a flight, and her phone pinged near her house on January 1 and 2, CNN reported.
Brian Walshe claimed he went to a Whole Foods and CVS on January 1 to run errands for his mother in Swampscott, 40 miles north of his home in Cohasset, though surveillance video did not observe him at either place — though surveillance footage shows he went to Home Depot on January 2 and bought $450 worth of cleaning supplies, including buckets, mops and tarps.
Police said in an affidavit the timeline Brian Walshe provided “caused a clear delay in the search for the missing person, Ana Walshe,” leading to his charge for misleading investigators.
Police found a bloody knife in the basement of the Walshe family’s home on Sunday after obtaining a search warrant following the discovery that Brian Walshe conducted an internet search for “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body.”
Investigators shifted their focus from a missing persons search to suspicions that Ana Walshe may have been killed following these discoveries, CNN reported.
Police concluded a two-day search into the wooded area surrounding Walshe’s home on January 7 and will not resume unless new information arises, though investigators searched through the trash of a transfer station in Peabody, a city an hour north of Cohasset, on January 9.
Brian Walshe’s lawyer, Tracey Miner, said her client has been “incredibly cooperative” and has consented to police searches of his home, property and cell phone, CBS News reported.
Brian Walshe pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with intent to murder and unlawfully handling a dead body Wednesday morning after being charged with his wife’s murder on Tuesday
Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland alleges Brian Walshe dismembered his wife’s body and displaced evidence in different locations — both Brian and Ana Walshe’s DNA were found on blood samples from items discovered inside a trash bin in Peabody, Massachusetts, which included tape, gloves and a hacksaw.
Brian Walshe made a series of disturbing internet searches on January 1, including “dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body,” “can you throw away body parts” and “how to clean blood from wooden floor,” Beland said.
Beland claims Brian killed his wife instead of filing for divorce, after a December 27 Google search for “What’s the best state to divorce?” was found on his son’s iPad.
What To Watch For
Brian Walshe is set to make a second court appearance on February 9. He will be held without bail.
The investigation follows years of legal troubles for Brian Walshe, who pleaded guilty to fraud last year for selling fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay. FBI investigators allege either Brian or Ana used an eBay account to sell the fake paintings, according to a complaint filed in the US District Court of Massachusetts, though the complaint does not charge Ana with wrongdoing. Brian Walshe was indicted in October 2018 on four counts — wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction — and pleaded guilty to three charges for a recommended sentence from prosecutors of incarceration, supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture, CNN reported. The case is still open as Brian Walshe hasn’t yet been sentenced, and he remains under house arrest, according to CNN.
Ana Walshe’s former home in Cohasset burned down in a fire on Saturday night, though investigators deemed the fire accidental, CBS News Boston reported. Police Chief William Quigley said the fire was a “very strange coincidence” in light of Walshe’s disappearance.
Brian Walshe Searched ‘Best Ways To Dispose Of A Body’ On Day Wife Ana Walshe Disappeared, Prosecutors Say (Forbes)
Massachusetts Man Brian Walshe Charged With Murder After Wife’s Disappearance (Forbes)
Internet records show husband of missing Massachusetts woman searched for how to dispose of a body, sources say (CNN)
Bloody knife found in basement of missing Massachusetts mother’s home, prosecutors say (CNN)
Police dig through trash for clues in woman’s disappearance (AP)