Police investigating the disappearance of a Massachusetts woman last seen on New Year’s Day
discovered a bloody knife in the basement of the home she shared with her husband, Brian Walshe, a prosecutor said Monday.
What to know: Walshe, 46, was arrested Sunday for allegedly misleading police in their investigation of the disappearance of his wife, 39-year-old Ana Walshe. Brian Walshe violated his bail on a federal fraud conviction when he withheld information from police trying to find his wife, a prosecutor said Monday in Quincy District Court.
What happened in the hearing: In addition to the discovery of the knife, prosecutors said Brian Walshe didn’t tell investigators he had spent hundreds of dollars on cleaning supplies at stores after his wife disappeared. A judge set bail at $500,000 cash for Walshe, who pleaded not guilty and was held.
Brian Walshe’s fraud case: Walshe is on probation pending sentencing in a 2021 wire fraud case in which he was convicted of selling fraudulent Andy Warhol paintings. The terms of his probation include monitoring and home confinement, according to an affidavit filed by Cohasset Police Detective Harrison W. Schmidt.
Who is Ana Walshe?
Ana Walshe, a mother of three young children, was last seen by a family member in her home between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Jan. 1, according to Cohasset Police Chief William Quigley. Quigley said Walshe’s cellphone, as well as her credit and debit cards, have been inactive since New Year’s Day.
Walshe is an employee of Washington, D.C.-based real estate company Tishman Speyer, who made the initial missing person report after Ana Walshe didn’t arrive at work on Jan. 4, according to Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland. The couple owns a home in Washington and Walshe commutes during the week for work at a real estate company, her friends said.
A specialized search and rescue State Police unit, three K-9 teams and the State Police Air Wing searched the woods near Walshe’s Massachusetts home Saturday but concluded their ground search that day, according to police.
What happened at Brian Walshe’s court appearance?
Brian Walshe had told officers that he only left the couple’s home the day after his wife disappeared to get ice cream for his son, but surveillance video at a Home Depot showed him buying $450 worth of cleaning supplies, including mops and drop cloths and various kinds of tape, prosecutors said.
“Police obtained a search warrant and actually searched the house with crime scene services,” Beland said. “During that time, they found blood in the basement. Blood was found in the basement area, as well as a knife, which also contained some blood.”
A judge set bail at $500,000 for Walshe at a Monday arraignment hearing. He is scheduled to return to court next month.