The husband of Ana Walshe, first reported missing on Jan. 4, has been charged with her murder and ordered to be held without bail.
Brian Walshe appeared in Quincy District Court Wednesday morning for his arraignment, during which prosecutors detailed gruesome evidence connecting him to the disappearance of his wife.
Walshe, who was previously charged with misleading a police investigation, is now charged with murder as well as the improper transportation of a body or human remains. He has so far pleaded not guilty to all three charges.
A timeline of inconsistences
Ana Walshe was first reported missing by her colleagues in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4, after she did not appear for work. Officials later learned she did not board a D.C.-bound flight scheduled for Jan. 3, either.
A mother of three boys, ages 2, 4 and 6, the prosecution described how she split her time between her home in Cohasset and working in D.C. at a real estate agency.
In court, Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland described how it was only when Cohasset police conducted a wellbeing check at Walshe’s home did her husband first report Ana missing, claiming he had not heard from her after she left the house at approximately 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 for a work emergency.
He also claimed she used a ridesharing service to go to the airport, which authorities later found no record of.
Police were later able to ping Ana’s phone to try to locate the 39-year-old. According to their findings, the pings found the phone had remained “stationary,” in the area of the family home on New Year’s Eve until early Jan. 2, when the phone was apparently turned off.
Beland stated that Brian told police he later went to his mother’s residence in Swampscott on New Year’s Day, but that it took him longer than it should have because he got lost. He claimed to have gone to Whole Foods and a CVS that day, according to officials, but police found he was not seen on surveillance video at either store and that there were no receipts for the items he claimed to have purchased.
Instead, nearby security footage reportedly showed Walshe at a dumpster at a nearby liquor store around that time.
Prosecutors previously stated that Brian also claimed the only time he left his home on Jan. 2 was to take his son for a smoothie. While Walshe was found to have gone to a smoothie shop in Norwell, he was also seen on surveillance video around 4 p.m. at a Home Depot in Rockland, where he purchased $450 worth of cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket, and tarps, as well as baking soda and a hatchet.
He was also found to have purchased three rugs from a HomeGoods store in Norwell that day, per the prosecution.
Disturbing Google searches made on child’s iPad
Among the latest revelations made in court, the prosecution detailed how Walshe allegedly used his son’s iPad to Google search a number of questions the morning of Jan. 1 – during roughly the same time Brian claimed his wife was departing for said work emergency.
The numerous search queries included “how long before a body starts to smell?” at 4:55 a.m., “how to stop a body from decomposing” at 4:58 a.m., and “how to embalm a body” at 5:20 a.m.
Beland said at 5:47 a.m., Walshe allegedly searched “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to.”
Records showed that within an hour of that search, Brian allegedly looked up “how long for someone to be missing to inherit” at 6:25 a.m., before then searching “can you throw away body parts?”
At 9:29 a.m., Walshe then queried “what does formaldehyde do?” before searching “how long does DNA last?” at 9:34 a.m. and then “can identification be made on partial remains?” at 9:59 a.m.
“Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body” allegedly followed at 11:34 a.m. and then “how to clean blood from wooden floor” at 11:44 a.m., followed by several other related searches throughout the day and again on Jan. 2.
“Hacksaw best tool to dismember,” “can you be charged with murder without a body?” and “can you identify a body with broken teeth?” were allegedly entered into a search engine by Walshe the day after his wife was last seen.
Gruesome evidence recovered
Beland told the court that samples of Brian and Ana’s DNA were found on numerous discarded items recovered by authorities during their investigation of Ana’s disappearance, including clothing and slippers.
Other items later recovered included a Prada purse, the boots Ana was last seen wearing, her COVID-19 card, a piece of a necklace she was seen wearing in photos, a hacksaw, a hatchet, and cutting sheers, according to court records. Blood was also found in Brian’s car.
Data from the defendant’s phone indicated that on Jan. 3, Brian Walshe traveled to an apartment complex in Abington where surveillance video showed a vehicle similar to Walshe’s and a man matching his physical description approach a dumpster.
The suspect then discarded what appeared to be a heavy garbage bag that took some lifting to get in, according to the prosecution. By the time an investigation was underway days later, officials found the bag had been picked up and shredded and incinerated at a facility.
Records showed Walshe allegedly approached another apartment complex in Abington and then another complex in Brockton that day, where items were also discarded in a dumpster.
Walshe allegedly made additional Google searches as well, including:
“What happens to hair on a dead body?”
“What is the rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods?”
“Can baking soda make a body smell good?”
The following day, Walshe was believed to have gone to a HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx store to purchase towels, bathmats and men’s clothing before going to a Lowe’s to buy squeegees and a trash can.
Officials also found that on Jan. 5, a day after Walshe reported his wife missing to police, he travelled to his mother’s apartment complex in Swampscott and approached a dumpster there that was later searched by police.
Days later, on Jan. 8, police searched the Walshe’s home where they recovered evidence that included a bloody knife and blood found in the basement of the Walshe home, which was disclosed during Brian Walshe’s initial arraignment the following day on Jan. 9.
The same day of his arraignment, the aforementioned items were recovered at a transfer station in Peabody, found in ten garbage bags thrown into the dumpster outside Walshe’s mother’s apartment.
“There was one other earlier Google search which would be of note,” Beland said in closing. “On Dec. 27, (the) defendant Googled ‘what’s the best state to divorce for a man?’ Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body.”
A judge ordered Walshe be held without bail, with a status update scheduled for Feb. 9.
In a statement after the arraignment, Brian Walshe’s attorney, Tracy Miner, said:
“It is easy to charge a crime and even easier to say a person committed that crime. It is a much more difficult thing to prove it, which we will see if the prosecution can do. 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. 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. We shall see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, where the case will ultimately be decided.”
Walshe, 46, was already in custody after being arraigned in Quincy District Court on Monday, Jan. 9, charged with misleading a police investigation as authorities worked to locate his wife after she was last seen on New Year’s Day. He was ordered held on $500,000 bail.