Brian Walshe accused of killing his wife Ana Walshe and dismembering her body, prosecutors say



CNN

Brian Walshe killed and dismembered his wife Ana Walshe and disposed of her body in dumpsters, a prosecutor with the Norfolk district attorney’s office said at his arraignment on Wednesday.

“Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body,” prosecutor Lynn Beland said.

Brian Walshe, 47, was arraigned in Quincy District Court on charges of murder and disinterring a body without authority. The hearing was the first time that prosecutors definitively said Ana Walshe, the Massachusetts mother of three who has been missing since the new year, is believed to be dead.

In court, Beland laid out some of the evidence that led to that charge, including the discovery of Ana Walshe’s belongings and her blood in the garbage.

Live updates: Brian Walshe arraigned on murder charge

Surveillance video captured a person appearing to be Brian Walshe tossing heavy bags into a dumpster in Abington and in Swampscott, Beland said. The bags in Swampscott contained blood stains, cleaning equipment, a hacksaw, a hatchet, boots and a purse worn by Ana Walshe and her Covid-19 vaccination card, the prosecutor said. Her and her husband’s DNA were also found on human blood in the trash, she said.

Further, in the days after her disappearance, Brian Walshe allegedly made a series of Google searches: “How to dispose of a dead body if you really need to,” “dismemberment and how to dispose of a body,” “can you be charged with murder without a body,” and “can you identify a body with broken teeth,” according to the prosecutor.

In court, Brian Walshe shook his head once but did not otherwise react to the gruesome allegations. He spoke in court to say he acknowledged the charges, and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

The judge ordered him held without bail. His next court date is February 9.

In a statement, Brian Walshe’s defense attorney Tracy Miner said she would not comment on the case and suggested the evidence was not strong.

“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,” 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.”

Brian Walshe, left, and his wife Ana were married in 2015.

Brian Walshe arrived at court just after 8 am Wednesday for his hearing. He has been in jail since January 8, when he was arrested and charged with misleading investigators; he has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors have accused him of intentionally delaying investigators in order to cover up evidence, alleging he lied about some of his actions in the days following his wife’s disappearance.

Since Ana Walshe’s employer reported her missing January 4, authorities have scoured the couple’s home, performed a sweeping search of the town of Cohasset, and poured through dumpsters looking for any sign of what happened to the 39-year-old mother of three.

Police also found blood stains and a bloody, broken knife in the couple’s basement, prosecutors said.

Ana Walshe’s friend and former colleague Pamela Bardhi felt rage and relief upon hearing investigators believe her friend was murdered, she told CNN.

“I just had this horrible gut feeling and I prayed I was wrong,” she said Tuesday. “I prayed that it wasn’t the case. And here we are now finding out a few hours ago there’s a murder charge… That’s a heavy, heavy thing,”

Although Bardhi is terrified to learn the details in the case, she hopes the truth will emerge, she said.

“I think that the truth is a real double-edged sword. It’s painful to know, but it’s necessary,” she said. “I think that those kids deserve to know what happened to their mother, no matter what, and her family and her friends.”

The couple’s children, ages 2 to 6, are in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, a spokesperson said.

Brian Walshe at his arraignment Wednesday in Quincy District Court on charges of murder and disinterring a body without authority.

So far, several pieces of possible evidence have emerged in Ana Walshe’s disappearance, including her husband’s allegedly false statements to police and items found in and around the small coastal town of Cohasset.

Brian Walshe told police he last saw his wife the morning of January 1 when she left for a work trip to Washington, DC, according to a police affidavit. The husband said he spent the rest of the day running errands for his mother and spent time on January 2 with his kids.

However, prosecutors say there is no evidence Ana Walshe took her usual rideshare or taxi to the airport, or that she took a flight or arrived in Washington. Her phone also pinged near the couple’s home overnight on January 1 into January 2.

Additionally, investigators allege Brian Walshe never ran errands for his mother on New Year’s Day and say he took an undisclosed trip to Home Depot on January 2, where prosecutors say he spent about $450 on cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket and tarps.

On January 4, Ana Walshe’s employer, real estate company Tishman Speyer, called the police to report her missing, according to investigators. A Cohasset police log says, “Company has contacted the husband. He has not filed a police report.”

Brian Walshe called his wife’s workplace before they reported her missing to say he hadn’t heard from his wife, defense attorney Miner has said.

Items collected when investigators conducted searches north of Boston were sent to be tested as potential evidence, the Norfolk district attorney has said, declining to provide details.

Investigators found a hacksaw, torn cloth and apparent bloodstains at a Boston-area trash collection site, law enforcement sources have told CNN.

A bloody knife and blood stains were also found in the couple’s basement, prosecutor Lynn Beland said.

Brian Walshe appears in court on January 9 on a charge of misleading investigators.

The charges against Brian Walshe in his wife’s disappearance are the latest in a string of legal troubles for the husband.

In 2021, he pleaded guilty to three federal fraud charges related to a scheme to sell fake Andy Warhol art online. He was placed under house arrest as he awaits sentencing and was required to get approval to leave his house for specific activities at specific times.

Investigators allege Walshe took several unapproved trips the week after his wife disappeared that could be violations of the terms of his house arrest, a police affidavit says.

Additionally, a police report obtained by CNN shows Ana Walshe reported someone threatened to “kill (her) and her friend” in 2014. Brian Walshe was the person involved in the report, a spokesperson for the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department confirmed.

The case was closed because the victim refused to cooperate with the prosecution, police said.

In 2019, a relative and family friends also painted Walshe as a violent and untrustworthy person during a legal battle over his father’s estate. Two friends of Brian Walshe’s father accused Walshe of financial misconduct and said he is “a sociopath,” according to affidavits filed in the case.

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