Ana Walshe, a Massachusetts mother of three, has not been seen since at least the New Year, and investigators have searched areas north and south of Boston to uncover her whereabouts and status.
Her husband, Brian Walshe, 47, told police he last saw her on January 1 when she left their home in Cohasset for a flight to Washington, DC for her job. But authorities have accused him of misleading investigators and said they found a bloody knife in the basement of their home.
Using information from a criminal affidavit, police, prosecutors and defense attorneys, CNN put together a timeline of the couple’s movements and actions, from his earlier legal trouble to her recent disappearance.
Brian Walshe’s father, Dr. Thomas Walshe, died in September 2018 and left nothing to Brian, leading to a protracted legal fight over his estate, according to court documents filed in Plymouth Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts.
Dr. Walshe’s will noted he was not in contact with Brian, to whom he bequeathed only his “best wishes” and “nothing else” from his estate, according to photographs of the document attached to court documents. Brian Walshe unsuccessfully contested the will and suggested his father’s signature on the document was a possible forgery.
Affidavits in opposition to Brian Walshe’s petition argued he had been estranged from his father and detailed years of alleged swindling and manipulation.
“He had a severe falling out with his son,” wrote Andrew Walshe, the estate’s executor and one of Dr. Walshe’s nephews. “Brian had ran off with a significant amount of his money; he had had almost zero contact with Brian R. Walshe over the last ten plus years.”
In October 2018, Brian Walshe was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly selling fake Andy Warhol artwork online, according to court documents.
FBI investigators alleged Brian or Ana Walshe used her eBay account to sell the paintings in November 2016, less than a year after they were married. The complaint does not charge Ana Walshe with wrongdoing, but states that she spoke to the person who purchased the fakes after the buyer learned the paintings were not authentic and located her work number.
The document also alleged Brian Walshe took real artwork from a friend to sell, but never did. He did not compensate the friend for the art either, prosecutors alleged.
Walshe pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction in November 2018.
In April 2021, Brian Walshe pleaded guilty to three of the four counts in exchange for a recommended sentence of incarceration, supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture, court documents show. He also agreed to either return the artworks or pay for them.
As part of pre-sentencing probation, Brian Walshe was placed on monitoring and house arrest. He can request to leave home but must detail the specific locations, times and reasons.
According to Brian Walshe’s statements to police included in an affidavit, he and his wife hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner at their home with a friend named Gem.
Brian and Ana Walshe went to bed shortly after the friend left around 1 or 1:30 a.m., he told investigators, the affidavit states. Ana Walshe said she had a work emergency and needed to fly to Washington for her job the next morning, he told police.
As Brian Walshe told police, in the morning Ana Walshe “got ready and kissed him goodbye and told him to go back to sleep,” the affidavit states. She usually took an Uber, Lyft or Taxi to the airport and left between 6 and 7 a.m., the affidavit states.
He further told police a babysitter arrived in the afternoon and he left home to get groceries at about 3 p.m., the affidavit states.
He told police he then went to see his mother at about 4 p.m. in Swampscott, about an hour drive from Cohasset, but did not have his cell phone and got lost, making the trip longer than usual, the affidavit states. He said he left his mother’s home within about 15 minutes of arriving to run errands for her at Whole Foods and CVS and eventually returned home to Cohasset at about 8 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Ana Walshe’s cell phone pinged in the area of their Cohasset home on January 1 and 2, according to prosecutor Lynn Beland.
As Brian Walshe told investigators, he took one of his children for ice cream at a juice bar in Norwell on January 2 while the babysitter watched his two other kids, the affidavit states.
Investigators confirmed this trip occurred, the affidavit states.
According to surveillance video, Brian Walshe traveled to a Home Depot in Rockland wearing a surgical mask and gloves and made a cash purchase, the affidavit states. There, Walshe bought $450 of cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket, tarps and various types of tape, according to Beland.
Ana Walshe’s workplace, the real estate company Tishman Speyer, called police to report she did not show up for her job, Beland said.
According to Brian Walshe’s defense attorney, he called her workplace to ask if they knew of her whereabouts prior to the workplace’s call to police.
Cohasset Police arrived to Ana Walshe’s home for a well-being check, according to an affidavit. Brian Walshe spoke with investigators multiple times and provided the above timeline for his actions and whereabouts on January 1 and 2.
Cohasset Police announced Ana Walshe is missing and asked the public to come forward with any information. Police said she was last seen “shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day.”
Police launched a massive search for Ana Walshe that included K-9 officers and search and rescue teams in the wooded areas near her home.
At least six investigators are tasked with driving to the north shore area of Massachusetts and watching surveillance video to try to verify Walshe’s timeline of events, the affidavit states. They did not observe him on video at the Whole Foods or CVS in Swampscott on January 1 as he had stated, the affidavit says.
Cohasset Police and Massachusetts State Police announced the search for Ana Walshe has concluded.
Brian Walshe was arrested and charged with misleading a police investigation, police said in a statement.
Brian Walshe was arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty to a charge of misleading police.
Beland, the prosecutor, said investigators had found no evidence of Ana Walshe taking a rideshare from their house on January 1. She said his statements to police caused a delay in the investigation.
The prosecutor also said investigators obtained a search warrant for their home and found blood and a bloody knife in the basement.
The judge set bail at $500,000 cash and set the next hearing for February 9.
Prosecutors released the affidavit in support of a criminal complaint that lays out authorities’ timeline of the prior week. The affidavit describes Brian Walshe’s statements to police as a “clear attempt to mislead and delay investigators.”
The affidavit outlines several trips he made that were not requested and approved beforehand and that may represent violations of the terms of his probation.
Investigators conducted searches north of Boston and collected a number of items that will be processed and tested, according to a statement from the Norfolk district attorney. The statement also referred to the Ana Walshe’s disappearance as “suspicious.”
According to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation, investigators put crime scene tape around dumpsters near the home of Brian Walshe’s mother in Swampscott and dug through trash at a transfer station in Peabody. Both locations are north of Boston.
Law enforcement sources tell CNN investigators found a hacksaw, torn-up cloth material and what appears to be bloodstains at the Peabody site. The evidence was sent for testing.
He was being held at the Norfolk County House of Corrections and was set to be transported to Quincy District Court to be arraigned on the murder charge on Wednesday, Morrissey added.
“Additional details in 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,” the prosecutor said.