(QUINCY, Mass.) — Massachusetts man Brian Walshe pleaded not guilty on Thursday to killing his wife, mother of three Ana Walshe, who has been missing since New Year’s Day.
Brian Walshe was indicted by a grand jury last month for murder, misleading a police investigation/obstruction of justice and improper conveyance of a human body.
Prosecutors said in court on Thursday that Brian Walshe suspected his wife was having an affair in December 2022, and Brian Walshe’s mother, with her son’s “input and direction,” hired a private investigator to surveil Ana Walshe. Brian Walshe’s attorney, however, said in court that her client didn’t support his mother’s hiring of a private investigator.
On Dec. 28, 2022, Ana Walshe told a friend she believed Brian Walshe would be incarcerated as a result of the federal case he was facing for art fraud, and she was prepared to leave him, prosecutors said.
Ana Walshe hasn’t been seen since the early hours of Jan. 1. Brian Walshe told their babysitter that Ana Walshe had returned to Washington, D.C., for a work emergency, according to prosecutors.
On Jan. 1, Brian Walshe was seen on surveillance video at Lowe’s buying items including: five 5-gallon buckets, a hacksaw, towels, a framing hammer, a Tyvek full coverage suit, shoe guards, a mop, trash bags and other cleaning products, according to prosecutors. He was seen on surveillance video later that day buying hydrogen peroxide and jugs of ammonia, prosecutors said.
The next day, Brian Walshe was seen on surveillance video at Home Depot buying three more 5-gallon buckets, a hatchet, plastic sheeting, 24 pounds of baking soda, and another Tyvek suit, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors believe Brian Walshe made a series of Google searches including: “10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to”; “how long before a body starts to smell”; “how to stop a body from decomposing”; “how to embalm a body”; and “what’s the best state to divorce.” He also allegedly Googled “dismemberment” and “what happens when you put body parts in ammonia,” according to prosecutors. There were more Google searches for “hacksaw best tool to dismember” and “can you be charged with murder without a body,” according to prosecutors.
Brian Walshe told police on Jan. 5 that the couple had no problems in their marriage other than his pending criminal case, according to prosecutors.
Brian Walshe told police his wife had left home with her Prada bag and Hunter boots, which authorities later recovered from a dumpster along with Ana Walshe’s COVID-19 vaccination card, prosecutors said. The dumpster also had several of the items Brian Walshe was seen on video buying, including a hatchet, a hacksaw, a hammer and a Tyvek suit, according to prosecutors.
Brian Walshe’s attorney said in court Thursday that he had agreed to give his phones and iPads to police and allowed his home to be searched, stressing, “He’s been nothing but cooperative in this.”
The defense asked for bail, arguing that Brian Walshe is his children’s primary caretaker, but he was ordered held without bail. Brian Walshe is set to return to court in August.
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