COHASSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Ana Walshe, a mother of three from Cohasset, Massachusetts, has been missing since New Year’s Day.
Prosecutors have since accused her husband, Brian Walshe, of dismembering and disposing of her body.
Here’s a timeline of how the case developed:
Ana Walshe was last seen by a relative when it was presumed she was heading to Logan Airport. Investigators said she had booked a flight to Washington, D.C., where she works, but never boarded the flight.
In court, prosecutors revealed Brian Walshe used their son’s tablet between 4:55 a.m. and 1:21 p.m. to search “how long before a body starts to smell,” “how to stop a body from decomposing,” “10 ways to dispose of a body,” and “can you be charged with murder without a body,” among other topics.
Brian Walshe was seen on surveillance video at a home improvement store where he allegedly bought hundreds of dollars’ worth of cleaning supplies. Prosecutors said he also purchased new rugs from another store.
He told police he only left his home to take his son to get ice cream.
Ana Walshe’s phone was pinged at the couple’s home, according to prosecutors, and was then turned off.
Brian Walshe was witnessed carrying trash bags that appeared to be heavy and disposed of them at an apartment complex in Abington and another in Brockton, according to prosecutors. The bags were picked up before they could be recovered.
He also conducted more Google searches, prosecutors said, including “what happens to the hair on a dead body,” “what is the rate of decomposition of a body in plastic bag vs woods,” and “can baking soda make a body smell good.”
Ana Walshe’s employer reports her missing to Cohasset police.
Brian Walshe was seen at two stores where he purchased towels, bags, and clothes, according to prosecutors, and also went to a hardware store to get a squeegee and a trash can.
A fire broke out in Ana Walshe’s former home in Cohasset. The cause has since been deemed accidental and unrelated to her disappearance.
A specialized state police unit trained in search-and-rescue operations, three K-9 teams, and the State Police Air Wing searched wooded areas near the Walshes’ home. State police divers also searched a small stream and a pool but did not find anything.
Brian Walshe was arrested on a charge of misleading a police investigation. He had been on home confinement awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to several charges related to a 2018 fraud case.
Brian Walshe was arraigned in court and pleaded not guilty to the misleading police charge.
Police say they searched the couple’s home in Cohasset and found a bloody knife in the basement.
The investigation shifted to a trash transfer station in Peabody. Investigators were seen outside Brian Walshe’s mother’s home in Swampscott, eventually towing the dumpster from there to the Peabody Transfer Station.
Detectives said they found towels, rags, slippers, tape, gloves, cleaning agents, a Prada purse, Ana Walshe’s COVID-19 vaccine card, a hacksaw, and other items. A portion of a rug was also located, but was heavily stained and had baking soda on it.
Items in the trash contained the DNA of both Ana and Brian Walshe, according to prosecutors.
Cohasset residents held a vigil to pray for Ana Walshe’s safe return.
Attendees said every new development made it harder for the community to take in.
The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office said Brian Walshe was going to be charged with murdering his wife.
Brian Walshe was arraigned on a charge of assault with intent to murder, as well as a charge related to moving a body.
A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf and he was ordered held without bail.
This timeline will continue to be updated as the case develops.