Walshe pleaded not guilty to misleading investigators.
A murder warrant has been issued for Brian Walshe in the death of his wife Ana Walshe after her disappearance from a Boston, Massachusetts suburb around New Year’s Day. He pleaded not guilty to misleading investigators and was arraigned on January 18.
Walshe, 47, was arrested on January 8 amid disturbing allegations related to his wife’s disappearance. Prosecutors allege that the timeline he provided of his actions around the time she vanished did not make sense, and claim that he lied in order to throw investigators off the scent. Here’s what we know so far.
Building a case
Appearing in court on January 18, Brian Walshe pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and illegally disinterring or moving a body. Prosecutors alleged that he’d wanted to end his marriage, but rather than seek a divorce, he’d “dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body.”
Prosecutors showed surveillance video showing Walshe’s Volvo and a man of Walshe’s proportions dumping trash bags into bins outside two apartment complexes. Per CNN, data from Walshe’s phone shows that he traveled to several apartment complexes in different towns. Blood was also discovered in Walshe’s car, and a plastic liner was reportedly spotted by police on the day Ana was reported missing.
Brian Walshe’s defense attorney Tracy Miner declined to comment on the evidence, saying: “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.”
Gruesome Google searches
Here is a timeline of the Google searches Brian Walshe allegedly made immediately before and after his wife’s disappearance.
- What’s the best state to divorce for a man.
January 1: According to an affidavit per CNN, Brian told investigators that he and Ana went to bed around 1 or 1:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day. He apparently told police that Ana left for work in Washington DC a few hours later, but there’s no evidence she left the house.
- 4:55 a.m. – How long before a body starts to smell.
- 4:58 a.m. – How to stop a body from decomposing.
- 5:47 a.m. – 10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to.
- 6:25 a.m. – How long for someone to be missing to inherit.
- 6:34 a.m. – Can you throw away body parts.
- 9:29 a.m. – What does formaldehyde do.
- 9:34 a.m. – How long does DNA last.
- 9:59 a.m. – Can identification be made on partial remains.
- 11:34 a.m. – Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body.
- 11:44 a.m. – How to clean blood from wooden floor.
- 11:56 a.m. – Luminol to detect blood.
- 1:08 p.m. – What happens when you put body parts in ammonia.
- 1:21 p.m. – Is it better to put crime scene clothes away or wash them.
January 2: On this day, prosecutors allege Brian Walshe spent $450 in cash in a Home Depot on supplies including mops, a bucket, goggles, tarps, a hatchet and baking soda.
- 12:45 p.m. – Hacksaw best tool to dismember.
- 1:10 p.m. – Can you be charged with murder without a body.
- 1:14 p.m. – Can you identify a body with broken teeth.
- 1:02 p.m. – What happens to hair on a dead body.
- 1:13 p.m. – What is the rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods.
- 1:20 p.m. – Can baking soda mask or make a body smell good.
An array of potential evidence
Ana Walshe, 39, was last seen at home early on January 1, after which she was due to take a ride-share to Boston’s Logan International Airport. Since she was reported missing by her employer on January 4, investigators have unearthed a series of potentially significant evidence.
Police reportedly found a bloody knife in the Walshe’s basement, and a hacksaw, torn-up cloth material, and apparent bloodstains were discovered by investigators among trash at a Peabody transfer station. The hacksaw and cloth were apparently sent for testing. Investigators apparently found DNA from both Ana and Brian Walshe in the bags recovered from the garbage station, as well as Ana’s Covid-19 vaccination card, her Prada purse, and part of a necklace that appears to match one she can be seen wearing in photos.
Mr. Walshe allegedly bought $450 of cleaning supplies and other goods from a Home Depot the day after his wife vanished. According to law enforcement sources via CNN, an inspection of Walshe’s internet searches found that he’d looked up how to dismember and “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body.” Ana Walshe has been described as 5’2 and weighing 115 pounds.
Announcing the murder charge, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said: “Additional details of the investigation and the evidence in support of those charges are likely to be presented at arraignment but will not be disclosed at this time.”
A disturbing history
According to a report, Ana told the police in 2014 that she feared Brian Walshe, who she was not yet married to, “was going to kill (her) and her friend.” The investigation was reportedly closed because the victim did not cooperate with the prosecution.
Court documents show that Brian Walshe was indicted on federal fraud charges in 2018 for allegedly selling two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay. He also allegedly promised to sell a friend’s real artwork, but never did — and he never compensated the friend for the piece.
In 2021, Walshe pleaded guilty to three out of four charges in the case in exchange for a recommended sentence of incarceration, supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture. He has been under house arrest and has had to report his whereabouts ever since. The case remains open while the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigates his finances.
Ana’s friends fear the worst
“This is completely unlike her and I think that is part of the shock,” her friend Evan Turell told the local NBC station. “She would not go a day without talking to her husband and her boys.”
“This is honestly just really mind-boggling, and gut-wrenching,” she added. “There’s no words.”
Ana Walshe’s friend and former colleague Pamela Bardhi said that the investigators’ pursuit of a murder charge confirmed her worst suspicions.
“I just had this horrible gut feeling and I prayed I was wrong,” she told CNN on 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.”
As painful as discovering the truth will undoubtedly be, Bardhi believes it is preferable to living in doubt.
“I think that the truth is a real double-edged sword. It’s painful to know, but it’s necessary,” she added. “I think that those kids deserve to know what happened to their mother, no matter what, and her family and her friends.”
“We are devastated. Ana is such a beacon of love and Joy,” family friend Peter Kirby told CNN following the discovery of a knife in the Walshe’s basement. “She lights up every room. We miss her and are doing everything we can to support her 3 beautiful children.”