Brian Walshe, accused of killing wife Ana Walshe, used son's iPad to look up ways to dispose of body, prosecutors say
Brian Walshe, the husband of a Massachusetts woman who has been missing since New Year's Day, used his son's iPad to look up ways to dismember and dispose of a body, a prosecutor said Wednesday at Walshe's arraignment on murder and other charges. Clothes and other items belonging to 39-year-old Ana Walshe with her DNA were found at a trash processing facility, prosecutor Lynn Beland said in court.
One of the searches Walshe conducted early on the morning of New Year's Day using an iPad belonging to one of his children was "10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to," Beland said. The couple has three boys, who are in state custody.
Other searches Beland said Walshe conducted that morning were "how long before a body starts to smell," "how to stop a body from decomposing," "how long does someone to be missing to inherit," "can you throw away body parts," "dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body" and "how to clean blood from wooden floor."
During that afternoon, two searches Beland said Walshe conducted were "what happens when you put body parts in ammonia" and "is it better to throw crime scene clothes away or wash them."
Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of Walshe, 47, Wednesday and he was held without bail in Quincy District Court. Dressed in a gray sweater and beige pants, he stood expressionless as Beland laid out the state's case and did not speak except to say "I do," when asked by the judge if he understood the charges.
In a statement, Walshe's attorney Tracy Miner said prosecutors haven't provided her with evidence in the case and she won't comment on it.
"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," Miner said.
Walshe was already in custody and being held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty to misleading investigators searching for Ana Walshe, whose body has not been found.
Miner did not contest bail but in the past has said her client has cooperated with investigators.
Investigators also found Jan. 3 surveillance video of a man resembling Brian Walshe throwing what appeared to be heavy trash bags into a dumpster at an apartment complex in Abington, which is not far from Cohasset, the affluent coastal community where the couple lived about 15 miles southeast of Boston.
"Surveillance shows the defendant's Volvo, as well as a man fitting the defendant's appearance, exit the car near the dumpster," Beland said. "He walks to the dumpster carrying a garbage bag. He's leaning, and it appears to be heavy, as he has to heft it into the dumpster."
When police went to the family's home Jan. 4 to perform a well-being check when it was still considered a missing person case, they noted the car had its seats folded down and a plastic liner in the back. Chemists later found the presence of blood in the car, Beland said.
During a Jan. 8 search of a trash processing facility in Peabody, north of Boston and not far from the home of Brian Walshe's mother, investigators found trash bags that contained a hatchet, a hacksaw, towels and a protective Tyvek suit, cleaning agents, a Prada purse, boots similar to the ones Ana Walshe was last seen wearing, and a COVID-19 vaccination card with her name, Beland said.
Some items had what appeared to human blood on them and testing determined that both Ana and Brian Walshe were "contributors" to the DNA on them, she said.
Ana Walshe was reportedly last seen leaving their home in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, purportedly to take a ride-hailing vehicle to Logan International Airport for a flight to Washington, authorities said. But police have found no indication that she either took a vehicle or boarded any flight out of Logan recently.
She was reported missing Jan. 4 by her employer in Washington, where the couple has a home and to which she often commutes during the week for work at a real estate company, authorities said.
Authorities have searched the family's home, a wooded area near the home, the trash processing facility in Peabody, and a condo complex where Brian Walshe's mother lives. Authorities previously said knives and blood were found in the family home's basement.
Authorities have also previously said Brian Walshe was spotted on surveillance video buying hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning supplies at a home improvement store.
Brian Walshe had been on home confinement with some exceptions while awaiting sentencing in a fraud case involving the sale of fake Andy Warhol paintings, according to federal court records. Police have said Ana Walshe's disappearance and her husband's case appear to be unrelated.
The mother of Ana Walshe, who is originally from Serbia, told Belgrade's Kurir daily prior to Wednesday's arraignment that she does not believe her son-in-law harmed her daughter.
"My son-in-law would not do anything to harm my Ana, and I do not believe any of the statements that have so far been related to the possibility that Brian harmed her," Milanka Ljubičić said.
"He assured me that Ana is fine and alive and I believe him. I am shocked by the new details that she was allegedly killed because I still hope that she is alive and well."
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