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Friend Of Missing Mass. Realtor Ana Walshe Suspects Foul Play After Blood And Knife Found In Home
"We hugged and celebrated and we toasted, just what you do over New Year's," Gem Mutlu said of the last time he saw missing woman Ana Walshe.
A friend of missing Massachusetts mother Ana Walshe, who was one of the last people to see the 39-year-old alive, says he suspects “there may have been foul play" in the case.
Realtor Gem Mutlu celebrated New Year’s Eve with Ana Walshe and her husband Brian Walshe at the couple’s home in Cohasset, Massachusetts hours before the mother vanished. Mutlu said he hugged Ana Walshe upon leaving her home around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.
"We hugged and celebrated and we toasted, just what you do over New Year's," Mutlu told CBS Boston affiliate WBZ-TV. "There was a lot of looking forward to the new year. There was no indication of anything other than celebrating the new year, problems on hold."
Mutlu, who knew Ana Walshe through her husband, said her demeanor appeared normal hours before she disappeared.
"She was texting with friends," Mutlu added. "She was sitting next to me at the barstool at their kitchen. There was absolutely no indication that any modicum of a tragedy, of disappearance, or anything else could have happened that night."
Mutlu said he’s been cooperating with police.
The couple’s landlord also said Ana Walshe and Brian Walshe “seemed like regular” people, Fox News reported.
Ana Walshe vanished in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 after reportedly hailing a rideshare to Boston’s Logan airport at around 4 a.m. Police said that her husband told investigators that she had to fly to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a real estate executive, for a purported work-related emergency. She never made it to the airport, however, nor did she arrive for a pre-booked flight to Washington D.C. on Jan. 3.
Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland said in court that Ana Walshe's employer filed an initial missing person's report on Jan. 4, after which Brian Walshe filed a second report.
Days later, Mutlu said he received an alarming phone call from Brian Walshe.
"I said, ‘what's wrong?’” Mutlu recalled. “‘Is there something wrong?’ He said, ‘Yeah, Ana is missing.'"
Mutlu says he now suspects foul play in Ana Walshe’s disappearance.
"Both Ana and Brian have been individually and together very impactful on my life,” Multlu explained. “A part of me had this suspicion all along that there may have been foul play and that somehow just the story just wasn't adding up.”
Brian Walshe, a convicted art fraudster who was on house arrest when his wife went missing, has since been arrested for allegedly misleading investigators as to his whereabouts around the time Ana vanished. Walshe, 47, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday. He’d previously told investigators he was sleeping when his wife left their home.
Prosecutors say Ana Walshe’s mobile phone’s signal pinged in the vicinity of Cohasset’s home on Jan.1 and Jan. 2, after Brian Walshe allegedly told detectives that she’d already departed the residence, per Fox News.
A knife and blood were found in Ana Walshe’s home basement after a search warrant was executed, prosecutors also alleged in court on Monday, according to ABC Boston affiliate WCVB.
"They found blood in the basement,” Beland told a judge. “Blood was found in the basement area, as well as a knife, which also contains some blood. Part of the knife was damaged."
Officials also accused Brian Walshe of failing to disclose that he’d bought cleaning supplies, including tape and mops, from Home Depot around the time of his wife’s disappearance. The Norfolk District Attorney's Office hasn't released additional information.
Meanwhile, Brian Walshe’s attorney, Tracey Miner, has insisted her client has been nothing but forthcoming with authorities. She said in court that Brian Walshe has been “incredibly cooperative” thus far.
Miner’s office declined to comment on the open case this week.
“Ms. Miner is not commenting on the case or giving press statements or interviews,” her assistant told Oxygen.com. “Her focus is on defending Mr. Walshe in court.”
Meanwhile, the couple’s three sons have been transferred to state protective custody amid the investigation.