Ana Walshe, a Massachusetts mother of three, has not been seen since at least the New Year, and prosecutors have accused her husband of dismembering her and disposing of her remains.
The husband, Brian Walshe, 47, told police he last saw her on January 1 when she left their home in Cohasset for a flight to Washington, DC for her job. But authorities accused him of misleading investigators and charged him with her murder.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Using information from a criminal affidavit, police, prosecutors and defense attorneys, CNN put together a timeline of the couple’s movements and actions, from his earlier legal trouble to her recent disappearance.
Brian Walshe’s father, Dr. Thomas Walshe, died in September 2018 and left nothing to Brian, leading to a protracted legal fight over his estate, according to court documents filed in Plymouth Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts.
Dr. Walshe’s will noted he was not in contact with Brian, to whom he bequeathed only his “best wishes” and “nothing else” from his estate, according to photographs of the document attached to court documents. Brian Walshe unsuccessfully contested the will and suggested his father’s signature on the document was a possible forgery.
Affidavits in opposition to Brian Walshe’s petition argued he had been estranged from his father and detailed years of alleged swindling and manipulation.
“He had a severe falling out with his son,” wrote Andrew Walshe, the estate’s executor and one of Dr. Walshe’s nephews. “Brian had ran off with a significant amount of his money; he had had almost zero contact with Brian R. Walshe over the last ten plus years.”
In October 2018, Brian Walshe was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly selling fake Andy Warhol artwork online, according to court documents.
FBI investigators alleged Brian or Ana Walshe used her eBay account to sell the paintings in November 2016, less than a year after they were married. The complaint does not charge Ana Walshe with wrongdoing, but states that she spoke to the person who purchased the fakes after the buyer learned the paintings were not authentic and located her work number.
The document also alleged Brian Walshe took real artwork from a friend to sell, but never did. He did not compensate the friend for the art either, prosecutors alleged.
Walshe pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction in November 2018.
In April 2021, Brian Walshe pleaded guilty to three of the four counts in exchange for a recommended sentence of incarceration, supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture, court documents show. He also agreed to either return the artworks or pay for them.
As part of pre-sentencing probation, Brian Walshe was placed on monitoring and house arrest. He can request to leave home but must detail the specific locations, times and reasons.
December 27, 2022
Brian Walshe made a Google search, “What’s the best state to divorce for a man,” according to prosecutors.
December 31, 2022
According to Brian Walshe’s statements to police included in an affidavit, he and his wife hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner at their home with a friend named Gem.
Brian and Ana Walshe went to bed shortly after the friend left around 1 or 1:30 a.m., he told investigators, the affidavit states. Ana Walshe said she had a work emergency and needed to fly to Washington for her job the next morning, he told police.
January 1, 2023
As Brian Walshe told police, in the morning Ana Walshe “got ready and kissed him goodbye and told him to go back to sleep,” the affidavit states. She usually took an Uber, Lyft or Taxi to the airport and left between 6 and 7 a.m., the affidavit states.
According to prosecutors, he made a series of Google searches on his son’s iPad, including “How long before a body starts to smell,” “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to,” “How long for someone to be missing to inherit,” and “How to clean blood from wooden floor.”
He further told police a babysitter arrived in the afternoon and he left home to get groceries at about 3 p.m., the affidavit states.
He told police he then went to see his mother at about 4 p.m. in Swampscott, about an hour drive from Cohasset, but did not have his cell phone and got lost, making the trip longer than usual, the affidavit states. He said he left his mother’s home within about 15 minutes of arriving to run errands for her at Whole Foods and CVS and eventually returned home to Cohasset at about 8 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Ana Walshe’s cell phone pinged in the area of their Cohasset home on January 1 and 2, according to prosecutor Lynn Beland.
As Brian Walshe told investigators, he took one of his children for ice cream at a juice bar in Norwell on January 2 while the babysitter watched his two other kids, the affidavit states. Investigators confirmed this trip occurred, the affidavit states.
He went to Home Goods and purchased three rugs, prosecutors said.
Just after noon, he made several more Google searches: “Hacksaw best tool to dismember,” “Can you be charged with murder without a body,” and “Can you identify a body with broken teeth,” according to prosecutors.
According to surveillance video, Brian Walshe traveled to a Home Depot in Rockland wearing a surgical mask and gloves and made a cash purchase, the affidavit states. There, Walshe bought $450 of cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket, tarps, goggles, a hatchet and baking soda, according to Beland.
Brian Walshe allegedly made more Google searches, 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,” and “Can baking soda mask or make a body smell good,” according to prosecutors.
Cell phone data tracked Brian Walshe’s whereabouts to an apartment complex in Abington at 4:27 p.m., according to prosecutors. Surveillance video shows he exited his car with a heavy garbage bag and put it into a dumpster, prosecutors said.
At 4:48 p.m., he traveled to another apartment complex in the same town, and at 5:10 p.m. he went to an apartment complex in a different town where he again discarded items in a dumpster, according to prosecutors.
These garbage bags were taken to a location to be shredded and incinerated and were destroyed by the time police located them, according to prosecutors.
Brian Walshe visited Home Goods and TJ Maxx to buy towels and bath mats and visited Lowe’s to buy squeegees and a trash can, according to prosecutors.
Ana Walshe’s workplace, the real estate company Tishman Speyer, called police to report she did not show up for her job, according to Cohasset police logs.
According to Brian Walshe’s defense attorney, he called her workplace to ask if they knew of her whereabouts prior to the workplace’s call to police.
Cohasset Police arrived to Ana Walshe’s home for a well-being check, according to an affidavit. Brian Walshe spoke with investigators multiple times and provided the above timeline for his actions and whereabouts on January 1 and 2.
Police noticed that Brian Walshe’s vehicle had the back seats down and a plastic liner in the back of the car, according to prosecutors.
Police noticed that the plastic liner is gone from his vehicle and the carpet of the car showed fresh vacuum streaks, according to prosecutors. Brian Walshe told police he threw the liner in the trash.
Cell phone data showed he went to Swampscott and traveled to the corner of an apartment complex where there is a dumpster, according to prosecutors. Ten trash bags that originated from this dumpster contained blood stains, cleaning materials, a hacksaw, a hatchet, a purse and boots worn by Ana Walshe and her Covid-19 vaccine card, according to prosecutors.
Cohasset Police announced Ana Walshe is missing and asked the public to come forward with any information. Police said she was last seen “shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day.”
Police launched a massive search for Ana Walshe that included K-9 officers and search and rescue teams in the wooded areas near her home.
At least six investigators are tasked with driving to the north shore area of Massachusetts and watching surveillance video to try to verify Walshe’s timeline of events, the affidavit states. They did not observe him on video at the Whole Foods or CVS in Swampscott on January 1 as he had stated, the affidavit says.
Cohasset Police and Massachusetts State Police announced the search for Ana Walshe has concluded.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the Walshe’s Cohasset home and found blood and a bloody knife in the basement, according to prosecutors.
Brian Walshe was arrested and charged with misleading a police investigation, police said in a statement.
Brian Walshe was arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty to a charge of misleading police.
Beland, the prosecutor, said investigators had found no evidence of Ana Walshe taking a rideshare from their house on January 1. She said his statements to police caused a delay in the investigation.
The judge set bail at $500,000 cash and set the next hearing for February 9.
Prosecutors released the affidavit in support of a criminal complaint that lays out authorities’ timeline of the prior week. The affidavit describes Brian Walshe’s statements to police as a “clear attempt to mislead and delay investigators.”
The affidavit outlines several trips he made that were not requested and approved beforehand and that may represent violations of the terms of his probation.
Investigators conducted searches north of Boston and collected a number of items that will be processed and tested, according to a statement from the Norfolk district attorney. The statement also referred to the Ana Walshe’s disappearance as “suspicious.”
According to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation, investigators put crime scene tape around dumpsters near the home of Brian Walshe’s mother in Swampscott and dug through trash at a transfer station in Peabody. Both locations are north of Boston.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN investigators found a hacksaw, torn-up cloth material and what appears to be bloodstains at the Peabody site. The evidence was sent for testing.
Brian Walshe was arraigned in Quincy District Court on charges of murder and disinterring of a body without authority.
Prosecutor Lynn Beland accused him of dismembering his wife and disposing of her remains in dumpsters. She also laid out some of the evidence that led to the charges, including the discovery of Ana Walshe’s belongings and blood in the garbage and Brian Walshe’s Google searches.
A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. His attorney Tracy Miner issued a statement suggesting the evidence against him was not strong.
“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,” she said. “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.”
CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia, John Miller and Jason Carroll contributed to this report