Brian Walshe accused of gruesome online searches after allegedly killing wife Ana in Cohasset

QUINCY – Brian Walshe was formally charged Wednesday with murder in the disappearance of his wife Ana Walshe in Cohasset, as disturbing new details about his Internet searches were released in the case.

Walshe, 47, pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment in Quincy District Court. (You can watch the entire proceedings here.)

Related: 10 ways to dispose of a dead body’ among Brian Walshe’s alleged internet searches

Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Lynn Beland said Walshe “dismembered Ana Walshe and dumped her body” on Jan. 1. The remains have not been found.

The prosecutor said Walshe began an extensive series of Internet searches on her son’s iPad to learn how to dispose of a body at 4:55 a.m. on Jan. 1, starting with “how long before a body starts to smell.” The searches allegedly included several questions about decomposing bodies and DNA, such as:

  • How to prevent a body from rotting
  • 10 ways to get rid of a corpse if you really need to
  • How long for someone to inherit
  • How to discard body parts
  • How long does DNA last
  • Can identification be made on partial remains
  • Can you be charged with murder without a body
  • Can you identify a body with broken teeth?

Beland laid out a more detailed timeline of the case Wednesday. She said starting on December 27, five days before Ana disappeared, Brian Walshe googled, “What is the best state for a man to get a divorce?”

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Investigators said Ana Walshe, 39, the mother of three young sons, was last seen in the early hours of January 1, shortly after having dinner at home with her husband and a friend. the friend left around 1:30 am about three hours before the internet searches started.

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Brian Walshe allegedly told investigators that his wife left around 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day en route to Logan Airport for a flight to Washington to deal with an emergency at work. Police said she never entered a ride share or during a flight.

Beland said Wednesday that investigators believe Brian Walshe killed his wife on Jan. 1, dismembered her body and then disposed of it. Anna Walshe’s phone was untouched in their Cohasset home until 3:14 a.m. on Jan. 2 when it was turned off, the prosecutor said. There was also no activity on her credit or debit cards.

On Jan. 2, Brian Walshe was allegedly seen on surveillance video at Home Depot pushing a cart with cleaning products including brushes, mops, tarp, buckets, goggles and an axe. He paid $450 in cash for the items before leaving the store, according to investigators.

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The next day, Beland said Walshe’s phone records showed he traveled to an apartment complex in Abington, got out of a car near a dumpster and walked to it carrying a trash bag that appeared heavy and abandoned it. He allegedly went to two more complexes, one of them in Brockton, and threw items into trash cans as well.

Beland said Walshe then did more Google searches on decomposition including, “what happens to hair on a dead body?”

The prosecutor said on Jan. 4, Walshe went to a store and bought towels, bath mats and men’s clothing and then went to Lowe’s where he bought crackers and a trash can.

Anna Walshe was reported missing by her co-workers in Washington on January 4 when she failed to show up for work.

When Cohasset Police went to the Walshe home that day for a welfare check, Beland said officers noticed that the seats in his Volvo were down and that there was a “plastic liner in the back of the car.” The prosecutor said chemists later analyzed the car and found blood in it.

Walshe’s phone records allegedly show he went to his mother’s home in Swampscott on Jan. 5 and stopped at a dumpster there.

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On Jan. 8, police searched the couple’s Cohasset home and allegedly found blood in the basement and a damaged knife with blood on it. A second knife was also found, Beland said. Brian Walshe was arrested that day and initially charged with misleading investigators. He pleaded not guilty and was held on $500,000 bail.

Beland said Wednesday that when police tracked down the bags thrown in the trash in Abington, they had already been taken and burned.

Items placed in the trash in Swampscott ended up at a transfer station in Peabody, where police recovered ten trash bags. Beland said there were bloodstains on the items inside, including towels, rags, slippers, duct tape, a Tyvek suit, gloves, cleaning agents, carpets, rugs, Hunter boots, a Prada purse, Ana’s COVID-19 vaccine card, a hacksaw , an ax and some scissors.

“The purse and boots are described as what Ana was last seen in,” Beland told the court, adding that “part of a necklace” was also found.

The items were tested by the state crime lab and the DNA of Ana and Brian Walshe was found on them, Beland said.

Brian Walshe stared blankly as she read through the overwhelming evidence gathered in the case. Later, he was ordered held without bail.

Missing Woman Massachusetts
Brian Walshe at his arraignment in Quincy District Court, Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool

Walshe is officially charged with murder, assault with intent to murder and exhuming a body without lawful authority and exhuming human remains.

Walshe’s attorney Tracy Miner released this statement to WBZ-TV after the arraignment Wednesday:

It is easy to accuse of a crime and even easier to say that a person committed that crime. It’s a much more difficult thing to prove it, which we’ll see if the prosecution can do. I will not comment on the evidence, firstly because I will try this case in the court and not in the media. Second, because I have not received any evidence from the prosecution. In my experience, where, as here, the prosecution leaks so-called evidence to the press before they provide it to me, their case is not that strong. When they have a strong case, they give me everything as soon as possible. We will see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, where the case will finally be decided.

Although it is probably futile, I ask that you do not flood my office, my home, or my cell phone with media requests. I will not give any media interviews or comments. I intend to win this case in court, not in the media, who have already tried and convicted Mr. Walshe.

According to the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, this is the second suspected domestic violence homicide there in less than a month. If you or someone you know needs to avoid abuse at home, call 800-799-7233. Click here for more information.


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