Mother Walshe: Bloody knife found in basement of missing Massachusetts mother’s home, prosecutors say

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CNN

Investigators investigating the disappearance of a Massachusetts woman accused her of misleading police after finding a bloody knife in the basement of the home she shared with her husband, the man said Monday. A prosecutor from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office is in court.

Brian Walsh, 47, was arraigned Monday in Quincy District Court for misleading investigators looking for Ana Walsh, a 39-year-old mother of three.

According to authorities, his workplace reported him missing on January 4 after he did not show up for work. Police searched for him for days near his home in Cohasset, about 20 miles southeast of Boston.

In addition, investigators found search queries for “how to dispose of a 115-pound female body” and how to dismember a corpse in Brian Walsh’s Internet posts, two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation said. After receiving new information over the past three days, investigators have turned their attention to the missing person case, suspecting she may have been murdered, sources told CNN.

Investigators looking for possible remains of Ana Walshe were sifting through debris at a transfer station in Peabody, an hour north of Cohasset, on Monday evening, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. of investigation. The garbage was brought to the station early last week by sanitation crews, the source said.

Crime scene tape was also placed outside and around dumpsters at an apartment complex near Brian Walsh’s mother’s home in Swampscott, about 15 miles north of Boston, the source added. Brian Walshe said he visited his mother after his wife disappeared.

On Monday, prosecutor Lynn Beland and the criminal affidavit detailed the investigation and cast doubt on Brian Walsh’s statements to police about his actions and movements over the past week.

“These various statements delayed the investigation, during the time he did not report his wife and made various statements, it gave him time to clean up evidence, destroy evidence and delay,” Beland said.

“The deliberate, intentional and direct responses to questions about his whereabouts on Sunday, January 1, 2023 and Monday, January 2, 2023 were an attempt to mislead and delay investigators,” the statement said. “The fact that she was asked a specific question and gave a false answer drove the investigators out of the area causing a clear delay in the search for the missing Ana Walsh.”

Cohasset and Massachusetts State Police said in a joint statement Saturday that investigators have “completed” the search for Ana Walsh after two days of searching the wooded area around her home. Ground searches will continue only if new information is confirmed, police said.

The two-day search involved 20 state troopers from a specialized search and rescue unit, three K-9 teams, the state police air wing and police divers, authorities said. power.

Brian Walsh told police he last saw his wife Jan. 1 when she took an Uber or Lyft from the airport to Washington for work at their Cohasset home, authorities said.

She also told police she went to a Whole Foods and CVS store in Swampscott, about 40 miles from Cohasset, on Jan. 1 and took her child out for ice cream the next day.

However, a police investigation revealed that there was no Uber or Lyft flight on New Year’s Day, and Ana Walsh did not arrive on the flight or in D.C., Beland said. Her cell phone also rang at home on the night of January 1-2, Beland said.

Additionally, investigators reviewed Whole Foods and CVS surveillance video from the same period and did not see Brian Walsh there, according to the affidavit. Surveillance video shows him going to Home Depot on Jan. 2 and buying $450 worth of cleaning supplies, including a mop, bucket and tarp, prosecutors said.

Police obtained a search warrant and found blood and a damaged, bloody knife in the basement of their home, Beland said.

The affidavit states that Brian Walsh is on probation in connection with a federal fraud case and must be asked to leave the home at specific times, places and reasons.

Her trip to Home Depot — where she wore a surgical mask and gloves and paid with cash — was made during the time allotted to pick up her children from school, which opened that day, the affidavit said.

A plea of ​​not guilty was entered on behalf of Brian Walsh. He appeared in court wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt and spoke briefly, saying he understood the charges.

Defense attorney Tracey Miner said Ana Walsh’s employer reported her missing because Brian Walsh first called them to find out where she was. The lawyer also noted that he interviewed the police several times and consented to the search of his property.

“He was incredibly cooperative,” she said.

The judge set bail at $500,000 cash and scheduled his next court appearance for February 9.

Tishman Speyer Real Estate confirmed that Ana Walshe is an employee.

“We are actively assisting local authorities in their continued search for our beloved colleague, Ana, and pray for her safe return,” a company spokesperson said.

“We are stressed. Mom is a beacon of love and joy,” family friend Peter Kirby said in a statement to CNN. “It lights up every room. We will miss her and do everything we can to support her 3 beautiful children.

Attorneys noted in court Monday that Brian Walsh is under house arrest and has been ordered to report his whereabouts in connection with a federal fraud case in which he is accused of selling fake Andy Warhol paintings online.

In May 2018, he was charged with wire fraud in a Massachusetts district court after the FBI said he sold two fake Warhol paintings on eBay, according to a criminal complaint. FBI investigators allege that Brian or Ana used his eBay account to sell the paintings in November 2016, less than a year after they were married.

The complaint does not accuse Ana of wrongdoing, but says the buyer spoke with the person who bought the counterfeit after learning the paintings were inauthentic and finding his work number.

The document also states that Brian Walsh received authentic artwork from a friend to sell, but never did. He did not compensate his friend for his art, prosecutors said.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2018 on four counts in the case, including wire fraud, interstate transportation for a fraudulent scheme, possession of convertible property and illegal money transactions.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to three of the four charges in exchange for a sentence recommended by prosecutors of prison terms, supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture, according to the documents. He also agreed to return the artwork or pay for it.

According to the online filing, the case remains open because the court has not yet formally ruled, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating Brian Walsh’s finances.

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