Mom Walshe: Internet records for missing Massachusetts woman’s husband show her searching for how to dispose of body.




CNN

Police in the small coastal town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, are investigating the disappearance of a woman whose husband’s Internet logs showed searches for how to dismember a body, sources told CNN, and prosecutors said blood and a bloody knife were found in the couple’s basement.

Police began questioning her husband, Brian Walsh, 47, after 39-year-old mother of three Ana Walsh was reported missing by co-workers on January 4. Disappearance, however, the police claim in a statement that it was “unjustified”.

Brian Walshe has been charged with misleading investigators in the case as police continue to search for his wife. Walshe, who was awaiting sentencing on a previous federal fraud charge, pleaded guilty.

Investigators have recently uncovered new information that has turned their focus from the missing persons search to suspicions that Ana Walsh may have been murdered, including an Internet record of her husband’s search for dismemberment and “how to dispose of the body of a 115-pound woman.” sources in the law enforcement agencies gave information about the investigation.

“We were devastated. Mom is such a beacon of love and joy,” family friend Peter Kirby told CNN. “It lights up any room. We miss him and do everything we can to support his 3 beautiful children.”

Here’s what we know about the case.

Investigators launched an extensive search for Ana Walshe, calling in local and state police departments, K-9 units, police divers and the state police air unit and scouring the wooded area around the family’s home.

Officials said on Saturday that the ground search had been called off after two days, but would resume if new information came in.

On Monday night, investigators were searching a dumpster at a transfer station in Peabody for potential remains of the missing mother, according to a source with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Sanitation workers brought the trash to the station, located about an hour north of Cohasset, early last week, the source said.

Crime scene tape was also placed around trash cans at an apartment complex near Brian Walsh’s mother’s home in Swampscott, about 15 miles north of Boston, a source told CNN. Brian Walshe told police that he went to visit his mother on January 1st, when he told police that was the last time he saw his wife.

Tishman Speyer, who reported Ana Walsh missing, was a co-worker at the real estate company, prosecutors said. Although Brian Walshe’s lawyer said he stopped by his office to say he hadn’t heard from him.

Brian Walshe told police that he last saw his wife on the morning of January 1. He said that he had to fly to Washington for urgent work.

“Mom got ready and said goodbye to him and told him to go back to sleep,” Walshe said.

He told investigators he usually took a taxi or cab to the airport.

Later that afternoon, Brian Walshe said he visited his mother in Swampscott and ran errands for her at the local Whole Foods and CVS.

Prosecutors said in court Monday that investigators have found no evidence that Ana Walsh took shares from their home that morning. His phone also rang near the home on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, according to U.S. Attorney Lynn Beland.

“The fact that she was asked a specific question and gave an untruthful answer that led investigators out of the area caused a clear delay in the search for the missing Ana Walsh,” the affidavit said.

Brian Walshe is under house arrest and wearing an ankle bracelet while awaiting sentencing on a previous fraud charge, which means he must get permission to leave his home for approved activities at certain places and times, according to police.

According to the affidavit, he made several unconfirmed trips during the week of his wife’s disappearance, including to Home Depot, where he was seen on surveillance video wearing a surgical mask and surgical gloves and making cash purchases. In court Monday, prosecutors alleged she spent about $450 on cleaning supplies, including a mop, bucket and tarp.

When police executed a search warrant at the couple’s home on Sunday, Beland said, “blood was found in the basement, as well as (a) knife with some blood on it.”

Two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation told CNN that the warrant was obtained based on Internet search history related to the disposal of her husband’s body and the purchase of large quantities of cleaning supplies.

A Quincy District Court judge set Walsh’s bail at $500,000 at his arraignment Monday on charges of misleading investigators. His next trial is scheduled for February 9.

Brian Walsh was charged with wire fraud in May 2018 after the FBI said he sold two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

FBI investigators allege that Brian or Ana used the eBay account to sell the paintings in November 2016, less than a year after their marriage.

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

Prosecutors also alleged that Brian Walsh bought the original artwork from a friend and said he would sell it to him, but never did. Prosecutors allege that he did not pay his friend for the art.

Brian Walshe is due to appear in court on January 9, 2023 on charges of misleading investigators.

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 converted goods and money laundering.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to three of the four charges in exchange for prosecutors’ recommended prison sentence, supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture. He also agreed to return the artworks or pay for them.

According to the online filing, the case remains open because the judge has not formally sentenced him, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigates Brian Walsh’s finances.



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