Brian Walsh killed and dismembered his wife, Anna Walsh, and threw her body in a dumpster, a prosecutor from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office said at an arraignment Wednesday.
Prosecutor Lynn Beland said: “It is not believed that Brian Walshe did not divorce but dismembered Ana Walshe and disposed of her body.”
Brian Walshe, 47, was arraigned in Quincy Magistrates Court on murder and unauthorized exhumation. The hearing was the first time prosecutors have said definitively that Anna Walsh, a Massachusetts mother of three who has been missing since New Year’s, is believed to be dead.
In court, Beland laid out some of the evidence leading up to the charge, including items belonging to Ana Walshe and her blood found in the rubbish.
Live Updates: Brian Walshe Arrested for Murder
Beland said surveillance video captured what appeared to be Brian Walshe throwing heavy bags into bins in Abington and Swampscott. Swampscott’s bag contained blood, cleaning equipment, a hacksaw, an axe, boots and a wallet worn by Ana Walshe, as well as her Covid-19 vaccination card, prosecutors said. Her and her husband’s DNA was also found in human blood in the trash, she said.
Additionally, in the days following her disappearance, Brian Walsh allegedly conducted a series of Google searches: “how to dispose of a dead body if you really need to”, “dismemberment and what to do with a dead body”, “will you be Prosecution? “Murder without a body,” and “Can you recognize a body with a broken tooth,” prosecutors said.
In court, Brian Walshe shook his head but had no other reaction to the dire allegations. Speaking in court, he said he admitted the charges and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
The judge ordered him held without bail. His next court date is February 9.
Brian Walshe’s defense attorney, Tracy Miner, said in a statement she would not comment on the case, saying the evidence was weak.
“I’m not going to comment on the evidence, first because I’m going to have this case in court and not in the media. And second, because the prosecution has not presented me with any evidence. In my experience, as here, the prosecution So-called evidence was leaked to the media before it was given to me, and their case wasn’t that strong,” she said.
“When they have a good case, they will give me everything as soon as possible. We will see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, and the case will eventually be decided in court.”
Brian Walshe arrived in court just after 8am on Wednesday for his hearing. He has been in prison since his Jan. 8 arrest and charged with misleading investigators; he has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors accused him of deliberately delaying the investigation to conceal evidence, accusing him of lying about some of his actions in the days following his wife’s disappearance.
Since Ana Walshe’s employer reported her missing on Jan. 4, authorities have searched the couple’s home, scoured the town of Cohasset and dumped in bins, looking for any information about the 39-year-old’s three children. Signs of what happened to the mother.
Police also found bloodstains and a bloody broken knife in the couple’s basement, prosecutors said.
Ana Walshe’s friend and former colleague Pamela Bardhi told CNN she was outraged and relieved to hear investigators believe her friend was murdered.
“I just have this horrible gut feeling and I’m praying I’m wrong,” she said Tuesday. “I pray that’s not the case. We’re here now to find out that there was a murder charge a few hours ago … it’s a heavy thing,”
Although Bardhi is afraid to learn the details of the case, she wants the truth to come out, she said.
“I think the truth is a real double-edged sword. It hurts to know it, but it’s necessary,” she said. “I think those kids deserve to know what happened to their mother, her family and friends, no matter what.”
The couple’s children, ages 2 to 6, are in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, a spokesman said.
Several possible pieces of evidence have so far emerged about Anna Walsh’s disappearance, including her husband’s alleged false statements to police and items found in and around the coastal town of Cohasset .
Brian Walsh told police he last saw his wife on the morning of Jan. 1, when she was on a business trip to Washington, D.C., according to the police affidavit.Husband said he spent the rest of the day running errands for his mother and spent on time Jan 2 with his kids.
However, prosecutors said there was no evidence Anna Walsh took her usual carpool or taxi to the airport, or that she flew or arrived in Washington. Her phone also rang overnight near the couple’s home from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2.
Additionally, investigators say Brian Walsh never ran errands for his mother on New Year’s Day and said he secretly went to a Home Depot on Jan. 2, where prosecutors say he spent about $450 on cleaning supplies, Includes mop, bucket and tarp.
Ana Walshe was reported missing by her employer, real estate firm Tishman Speyer, on Jan. 4, according to investigators. A Cohasset police log said, “The husband has been contacted by the company. He has not lodged a police report.”
Brian Walshe called his wife’s workplace before they reported her missing, saying he hadn’t heard from her, Defense attorney Minor said.
Items collected by investigators during a search north of Boston will be tested as potential evidence, the Norfolk District Attorney said, but declined to provide details.
Investigators found a hacksaw, a rag and obvious bloodstains at a Boston-area garbage collection site, law enforcement sources told CNN.
Prosecutor Lynn Beland said a bloody knife and blood stains were also found in the couple’s basement.
The charges against Brian Walshe over his wife’s disappearance are the latest in a series of legal battles facing the husband.
In 2021, he pleaded guilty to three federal fraud charges related to a scheme to sell fake Andy Warhol artwork online. He is under house arrest while awaiting sentencing and must obtain permission to leave the home at certain times for certain activities.
Investigators accused Walsh of taking several unauthorized trips in the week following his wife’s disappearance, which may have violated the terms of his house arrest, according to a police affidavit.
Additionally, Ana Walshe reported threats to “kill[her]and her friends” in 2014, according to a police report obtained by CNN. A spokesman for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that Brian Walshe was the person involved in the report.
The case was closed because the victim refused to cooperate with prosecutors, police said.
In 2019, a relative and family friend also portrayed Walshe as violent and untrustworthy amid a legal battle over his father’s estate. Two friends of Brian Walsh’s father accused Walsh of financial misconduct and called him a “sociopath,” according to an affidavit filed in the case.