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, 46, appeared in Quincy District Court Wednesday morning for his arraignment, during which prosecutors detailed gruesome evidence connecting him to the disappearance of his wife, whose body has still not been found.
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 a 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 before more were made 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.
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 in Norwell to purchase towels, bathmats and men’s clothing before going to a Lowe’s in Weymouth 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 had already been in custody after his arraignment on Jan. 9, following him being charged with misleading a police investigation. Prior to Wednesday’s proceedings, he was ordered held on $500,000 bail.