QUINCY, Mass. — Brian Walshe dismembered his wife, Ana Walshe, with a hacksaw and disposed of her remains after using his son’s iPad to Google the best ways to get rid of a body, among a slew of other incriminating searches, a prosecutor said in court Wednesday.
Brian Walshe, 47, pleaded not guilty in Quincy District Court to a charge of murder and improper transport of remains in the death of 39-year-old Ana Walshe, of Cohasset. A judge ordered him held without bail.
Ana Walshe, a mother of three, vanished earlier this month. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey announced Tuesday that a murder warrant was issued for Brian Walshe in connection with her death.
Brian Walshe, under heavy police guard, was seen being escorted into court shortly after 8 a.m. for his 9 a.m. court hearing.
While facing a judge, when asked if he understood the charges he faces -- he stands accused of assault to beat his wife with intent to murder her, of interring a body without lawful authority, and willfully removing human remains -- Walshe said, “I do.”
In court, Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland detailed a methodical, gruesome and horrific manner in which Walshe allegedly dismembered and then disposed of Ana Walshe’s body, and how he used Google to search for information about how to cover up the crime.
“Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body,” Beland said during the arraignment. “The bags were later discarded in Swampscott, and contained Ana’s property and the items used to clean up as well as the DNA that was left behind.”
Beland shared a disturbing timeline of repetitive Google searches that Brian Walshe allegedly made using his son’s iPad on New Year’s Day, when Ana was last seen at the Cohasset home she shared with her husband and their three young boys.
After the alleged murder of Ana, Beland said Brian Walshe took to the internet and searched for the following things on Jan. 1:
- At 4:55 a.m.: “How long before a body starts to smell?”
- At 4:58 a.m.: “How to stop a body from decomposing”
- At 5:20 a.m.: “How to embalm a body.” As Beland read this search phrase in court, Brian Walshe was seen shaking his head.
- At 5:47 a.m.: “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to”
- At 6:25 a.m.: “How long for someone to be missing to inherit?”
- At 6:34 a.m.: “Can you throw away body parts?”
- At 9:29 a.m.: “What does formaldehyde do?”
- At 9:34 a.m.: “How long does DNA last?”
- At 9:59 a.m.: “Can identification be made on partial remains?”
- At 11:34 a.m.: “Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body”
- At 11:44 a.m.: “How to clean blood from wooden floor”
- At 11:56 a.m.: “Luminol to detect blood”
- At 1:08 p.m.: “What happens when you put body parts in ammonia?”
- At 1:21 p.m.: “Is it better to throw crime scene clothes away or wash them?”
On Jan. 2, the prosecutor said, Brian Walshe was seen on surveillance video at the HomeGoods in Norwell, where he purchased three rugs.
Walshe’s Google searches resumed on Jan. 2, Beland said, with the following:
- At 12:54 p.m.: “Hacksaw, best tool to dismember”
- At 1:10 p.m.: “Can you be charged with murder without a body?”
- At 1:14 p.m.: “Can you identify a body with broken teeth?”
Also on Jan. 2, Walshe was seen on video at the Home Depot in Rockland wearing a black surgical mask, and blue surgical gloves making a cash transaction. Beland said surveillance video captured Walshe pushing a cart with cleaning products, mops, brushes, tape, tarp, a Tyvek suit with boot covers, buckets, goggles, baking soda, and a hatchet.
At 5:32 p.m. on Jan. 2, Walshe was seen on Derby Street removing his gloves and mask, Beland said.
Beland said Walshe’s took to the internet again on Jan. 3, with the following searches:
- At 1:02 p.m.: “What happens to hair on a dead body?”
- At 1:13 p.m.: “What is rate of decomposition of a body found in a plastic bag compared to on a surface in the woods?”
- At 1:20 p.m.: “Can baking soda make a body smell good?”
On Jan. 3, using his cell phone, investigators tracked Brian Walshe’s whereabouts to Abington and Brockton, Beland said.
At 4:27 p.m. on Jan. 3, surveillance video captured Walshe’s Volvo, and a man fitting his appearance exiting a car near a Dumpster at an apartment complex in Abington.
“He walks to the Dumpster carrying a garbage bag, he is leaning, and it appears to be heavy as he has to heft it into the Dumpster,” Beland said. “He walks to the Dumpster with the garbage bag and leaves it.”
Minutes later, at 4:48 p.m., Walshe is alleged to have gone to another complex in Abington, and then at 5:10 p.m., cell phone records show his location at another apartment in Brockton, where video captured someone consistent with Walshe’s appearance and his Volvo, Beland said: “Again, he discarded items in the Dumpster.”
On Jan. 4, Brian Walshe also went to a HomeGoods and TJ Maxx and purchased towels, bath mats, and men’s clothing, Beland said. That day, at 4:15 p.m., he also went to Lowe’s and bought squeegees and a trash can.
Also on Jan. 4, police went to the Walshe’s home in Cohasset to conduct a well-being check on Ana, after her employer reported her missing. During the course of their investigation, officers observed Brian Walshe’s Volvo with the seats down and a plastic liner in the back of the car. The car was later found to have traces of blood, Beland said.
Ana spent New Year’s Eve with her husband and three kids at their Cohasset home. The prosecutor said her phone turned off at 3:14 a.m. New Year’s Day.
She was supposed to go to Logan Airport early New Year’s Day around 4:30 a.m. to head to her second residence in Washington D.C., where she spent weekdays working as a regional general manager for the real estate company Tishman Speyer.
Police said Brian first told investigators that she potentially took a rideshare service to Logan. However, police never found any evidence that she made it to the airport and her cellphone, credit, and debit cards had been inactive since her disappearance.
Cohasset police and state police combed the woods around the Walshe’s home on Jan. 6 and later returned with a search warrant for inside the home less than 48 hours later. Beland said that search led to the discovery of a blood-covered knife, a second knife and heavy-duty, large tarp, plastic liners in the basement of the home.
Subsequent clues uncovered by investigators led them to the North Shore, where a hacksaw was found at a transfer station in Peabody.
Investigators noted that a search of a dumpster taken from his mother’s Swampscott apartment complex to the transfer station yielded 10 trash bags with items that had stains consistent with blood -- “in fact, a lot,” Beland said. Items found included towels, rags, slippers, tape, a Tyvek suit, gloves, cleaning agents, carpets, rugs, Hunter boots, a Prada purse, a COVID 19 vaccine card in the name of Ana Walshe, a hacksaw, a hatchet and some cutting shears.
“The purse and boots was described as what Ana was last seen in,” Beland said. “A portion of the rug was heavily stained with red round stains, the substance was consistent with having baking soda on it. There was a portion of a necklace consistent with one that Ana had been seen wearing in photos.”
DNA from both Ana and Brian Walsh was found on the Tyvek suit and on the slippers, Beland said.
Some other trash bags that Brian Walshe dumped in Abington were incinerated before being found, the prosecutor said.
The murder charge comes years after Ana Walshe told police in Washington D.C. that Brian Walshe had threatened to kill her.
Brian Walshe has been housed at the Norfolk County House of Correction since pleading not guilty last week to charges he misled law enforcement officials who have been working tirelessly to track down the whereabouts of his wife.
He had also been on house arrest for stealing and attempting to sell two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay.
More coverage of Ana Walshe’s disappearance below:
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