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Grisly Details In Ana Walshe Case Revealed As Husband Pleads Not Guilty To Her Murder
Prosecutors say Brian Walshe made numerous internet searches around the time his wife, Ana Walshe, disappeared on New Year's Day, including, "10 ways to dispose of a body if you really need to."
The Massachusetts man accused of killing his missing wife on the morning of New Year’s Day has been arraigned for murder.
Brian Walshe, 46, entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment on Wednesday, just one day after he was formally charged with murdering his wife, Ana Walshe, 39, according to Fox Boston affiliate WFXT.
Although she is presumed dead, Ana Walshe's remains have yet to be found.
Prosecutors claim Brian killed Ana just days after Googling which state was best to file for divorce, ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV reported.
“Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body,” said Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland. “The bags were later discarded in Swampscott and contained Ana’s property and the items used to clean up, as well as the DNA that was left behind.”
Swampscott is a coastal town about 40 miles north of the Walshes’ Cohasset home and just a few miles south of a Peabody waste facility, where investigators claimed they found 10 trash bags filled with incriminating evidence, including a hacksaw, hatchet, cleaning supplies and a rug.
Prosecutors allege Brian Walshe disposed of the items in a dumpster at his mother’s Swampscott apartment complex before they were transferred to the facility, according to WFXT.
Ana Walshe’s COVID-19 vaccination card and a portion of a necklace believed to be hers were among the items found, according to CNN. Towels, bathmats and a squeegee were additionally discovered during the search — all of which prosecutors claim the defendant purchased between Jan. 2 and Jan. 4, after Ana’s disappearance. State crime laboratory tests determined that blood and DNA belonging to both Brian and Ana were with the discarded evidence.
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Ana Walshe disappeared from the couple’s Cohasset residence on Jan. 1, in the hours after the couple hosted a New Year's Eve party; their guests left around 1:30 a.m.
Brian reportedly told authorities that Ana had then left the home at around 4:30 a.m. to take a ride share to Boston’s Logan International Airport and catch a commuter flight to Washington D.C., where she was employed as a real estate executive for Tishman Speyer.
Police ultimately found no record of Ana ordering a rideshare service that morning, nor was there anything to support that Ana booked or had boarded a flight to Washington D.C..
Brian claimed he was asleep when his wife left their Cohasset residence. At the time, he was under house arrest for an unrelated federal conviction related to art fraud
Brian was initially arrested on Jan. 8 on charges of interfering with the investigation after investigators discovered a broken knife, blood and industrial-grade plastic tarps in the basement of the family home.
Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey announced formal murder charges on Tuesday.
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Prosecutors allege that Brian Walshe used the iPhone of one of his sons to initiate dubious Google searches around the time Ana reportedly disappeared. (The couple’s three sons — ages 2, 4, and 6 — are currently in the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, according to WCVB-TV.)
At Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors provided a detailed timeline of the searches on the morning of Ana’s disappearance, beginning at 4:55 a.m. and continuing into the early afternoon, according to WFXT.
Searches included: “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to”; “How long for someone to be missing to inherit”; “Can you throw away body parts”; “What does formaldehyde do?”; “How long does DNA last?”; “Can identification be made on partial remains?”; “Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body”; “How to clean blood from wooden floor”; “Luminol to detect blood”' “What happens when you put body parts in ammonia”; and “Is it better to throw crime scene clothes away or wash them?”
Then on Jan. 2, surveillance video allegedly captured Brian at a Home Depot in Rockland — about 10 miles southwest of Cohasset — purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of what now look like suspicious items, including cleaning supplies, mops, buckets, baking soda, a hatchet and a Tyvek suit (commonly worn by HazMat workers), according to CNN.
“He had a face mask and rubber gloves on at the time he was pushing the cart in Home Depot,” said prosecutors.
That same day, Walshe allegedly against searched the internet — this time about hacksaws, dismemberment and the possibility of someone being charged with murder without the presence of a body, according to WFXT.
Another search included, “Can you identify a body with broken teeth?”
At around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 3, another surveillance video allegedly captured Brian’s vehicle and a man matching his description disposing of several garbage bags in apartment complex dumpsters around Abington and Brockton, both less than 20 miles southwest of Cohasset, according to WFXT. Investigators believe some items were incinerated before detectives could recover the possible evidence.
“He walks to the dumpster carrying a garbage bag, he is leaning, and it appears to be heavy as he has to heft it into the dumpster,” said ADA Beland. “He walks to the dumpster with the garbage bag and leaves it.”
Investigators also discovered blood in Brian’s Volvo, where the car seats were positioned downward and lined with plastic, according to the Fox affiliate.
Internet searches also continued on the third day, including what happens to the hair of a decomposing body and whether baking soda can “make a body smell good,” according to the Fox affiliate.
“What is the rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods?” was another search.
On Jan. 4, Walshe allegedly visited HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Lowe’s to purchase many items later found with the garbage bags, according to CNN.
That day, Ana’s D.C.-based colleagues filed a missing persons report. Brian Walshe filed his first missing persons report later that day as well.
Brian Walshe’s defense attorney, Tracy Miner, said the case would not be tried in the press, according to WCVB-TV.
“I am not going to comment on the evidence. First, because I am going to try this case in the court and not in the media. Second, because I haven’t been provided with any evidence by the prosecution,” Miner said in a written statement. “In my experience, where, as here, the prosecution leaks so-called evidence to the press before they provide it to me, their case isn’t that strong.
“When they have a strong case, they give me everything as soon as possible,” Miner added. “We shall see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, where the case will ultimately be decided.”
Brian Walshe is being held without bail and is expected to appear in court on Feb. 9.
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