COHASSET, Mass. — At first glance of her social media pages, Ana Walshe has it all: beauty, poise, intelligence, a great wardrobe, a great job, beautiful homes in Washington, D.C. and the seaside town of Cohasset, a doting husband and three beautiful young boys.
The 39-year-old Walshe, who shares her love for high heels and fashion on social media as much as her love for her family and work, frequently posted personal photographs in documenting how far she had come in life, both personally and professionally, since her early days growing up in her native Serbia.
“If it’s to be, it’s up to me,” Walshe said in a Oct. 20, 2021 post on Facebook, above a professional photograph showing the petite brunette with long hair smiling while posing in a black dress.
That personal drive to succeed, the fulfillment of her own American Dream, has since been overshadowed by Walshe’s sudden disappearance from her Cohasset home on New Year’s Day. Her husband, Brian Walshe, 46, of Cohasset, is accused of misleading police in their investigation into her disappearance. He was earlier convicted for fraud related to stealing and selling real and fake Andy Warhol paintings.
The case has garnered international attention, with people in Ana Walshe’s native Serbia praying for her safe return, according to a statement released Wednesday from the Serbian Consulate in Washington, D.C.
“Her disappearance has been a cause of great concern for the Serbian community in the U.S., as well as for people back home,” the Consulate said. “The entire Serbia is following media reports of Ana’s disappearance and we are all joined in praying for Ana’s safe return, despite the latest grim developments indicating otherwise. Our hearts go out to her family and especially to her young children, who deserve to be reunited with their mother.”
She was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and holds a dual citizenship of Serbia and the United States, according to the Serbian Consulate.
“We had a pleasure of meeting Ana in person (she visited Serbian Consulate on a number of occasions for different consular services) and we remember her as a lovely lady,” the Consulate said.
Ana Walshe, a real estate professional, worked her way up to her current position as regional general manager at Tishman Speyer, a firm in Washington, D.C., according to her LinkedIn profile page. She split her time between Cohasset and the nation’s Capitol, where she worked.
But years before her suspicious disappearance made headlines, Ana Walshe was an ambitious young woman who ultimately set her goals on success in the hospitality industry in America.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she held a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from the University of Belgrade.
In 2005, after emigrating from Serbia to the United States, she began working seasonal jobs in the hospitality industry. That year, she took a job as housekeeping attendant at The Inn at Little Washington in Little Washington, Virginia, and in 2006, worked as a server for the same inn.
In 2008, after also living in New York City, Ana moved to Massachusetts, where she took on the full-time role of reservations manager for The Wheatleigh Hotel in Lenox, where she worked for over two years. It is believed here, in Lenox, she met and fell in love with her husband, Brian Walshe.
“She always described him as her best friend, you know, that they were very close, love at first sight,” her friend, Alissa Kirby of Washington, D.C., told Boston 25 this week.
The couple married in 2016. Ana posted photographs of their wedding day on Facebook. In one, Brian Walshe is seen kissing her cheek while a radiant Ana, wearing a white, strapless dress and veil and holding a bouquet of flowers, is smiling. In another photograph, the newlyweds are crossing the street and holding hands with Brian Walshe, this time, holding the bouquet in his right hand.
A year after their wedding, the couple started their family, having the first of three children. Ana Walshe juggled motherhood while continuing to climb the corporate ladder.
In 2010, she took a job as assistant front office manager for the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., working her way up to front desk manager there in 2012 and front office operations manager in 2013.
In 2015, she began working for the InterContinental in Boston as front office director. In 2017, she took a job as front office director at the then-Taj Boston on Newbury Street, and worked subsequent positions of rooms manager and rooms director for the Taj Boston, later renamed The Newbury Boston.
In 2020, she began working as operations director for The Mutlu Group in Boston, followed by her current role at Tishman Speyer, where she began working in February 2022.
Throughout her career, Ana Walshe posted inspirational messages on social media related to goal setting, helping others, personal success, and family.
“Ecstatic to be a part of this leadership team. Never had this much fun! #workfamily #lovewhatyoudo #hospitality,” she wrote in an Instagram post, surrounded by her work colleagues, dated about eight months ago.
Around the same time, she posted another photograph of herself and her mother in her native Serbia. Both women are wearing sunglasses and red lipstick.
Kirby shared her frustration with her friend’s troubling disappearance, and her deep concerns for her young children, who are now in state custody and without their mother.
In an emotional interview, Kirby shed light on trouble within the Walshe marriage.
“They had had many fights about ‘When are we finally going to come to DC? When am I going to be with my kids?’ That was her priority,” said Kirby, who last saw her friend days before she went missing. The two had dinner and went dancing together, she said.
“I know (the Walshes) were experiencing a lot of stress together,” Kirby said. “I know it had been a very tense Christmas, so I mean a lot of that we discussed also, but really never an indication that she feared for her life, never an indication that, you know, she felt unsafe even. It was just a frustration of ‘I just want to be with my kids. i just want to be back here.’”
Kirby broke down crying.
“It’s jarring, it’s gun wrenching, it’s uncomfortable,” she said of her friend’s disappearance. “It’s not fair what happened.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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