The husband of a Massachusetts woman who has been missing since New Year's Day searched online for ways to dismember and dispose of a body, and items belonging to the woman with her DNA were found at a garbage processing facility, a man said. prosecutor in his appearance on Wednesday murder and other charges.
Pleas of not guilty were entered on behalf of Brian Walshe, 47, and he was being held without bond in Quincy District Court. Dressed in a gray sweater and beige pants, he remained expressionless as the prosecutor laid out the state's case and did not speak except to say "Yes, I do" when asked by the judge if he understood the charges.
His attorney, Tracy Miner, did not contest the bond, but has said in the past that her client cooperated with investigators.
She said in a statement that "I intend to win this case in court."
“I am not going to comment on the evidence, first because I am going to deal with this case in court and not in the media,” Miner said in a statement. “Secondly, because the prosecution has not provided me with any evidence. In my experience, where, as here, the prosecution leaks alleged evidence to the press before it is provided to me, their case is not as strong."
Walshe was already in custody on $500,000 bond after pleading not guilty earlier this month to misleading investigators looking for Ana Walshe, 39, whose body has not been found.
The couple, who have three young children who are now in the custody of the state, lived in the prosperous coastal community of Cohasset, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of Boston.
Beginning on January 1 and for several days after, Brian Walshe conducted multiple searches online using an iPad belonging to one of his children using terms such as "dismemberment and best ways to dispose of a body," "how long before a body starts to smell bad. ” and “the ultimate dismemberment tool,” prosecutor Lynn Beland said in court.
Investigators also found surveillance video from Jan. 3 of a man resembling Brian Walshe throwing what appeared to be heavy trash bags into a dumpster at an apartment complex in Abington, which is not far from Cohasset.
"Surveillance shows defendant's Volvo, as well as a man matching defendant's appearance, get out of the car near the dumpster," Beland said. “Walk to the dumpster with a garbage bag. He is bent over and seems heavy, as he has to throw it in the dumpster.”
Police tried to locate those bags but they had already been taken away and burned, Beland said.
When police went to the family's home on January 4 for a welfare check when it was still considered a missing person case, they noticed the car had folded seats and a plastic liner in the rear. Chemists later found the presence of blood in the car, Beland said.
During a January 8 search of a garbage processing facility in Peabody, north of Boston and not far from the home of Brian Walshe's mother, investigators found garbage bags containing an axe, a hacksaw , towels and a Tyvek protective suit, cleaning supplies, a Prada bag, boots similar to the ones last seen with Ana Walshe and a COVID-19 vaccination card with her name on it, Beland said.
Some items had what appeared to be human blood, and tests determined that both Ana and Brian Walshe were "contributors" to the DNA on them, he said.
Ana Walshe was reportedly last seen leaving her home in the early morning hours of January 1, allegedly to catch a shuttle vehicle to Logan International Airport for a flight to Washington, authorities said. But police found no indication that she took a vehicle or boarded a flight from Logan.
Her employer reported her missing on Jan. 4 in Washington, where the couple have a home and where she travels often during the week to work at a real estate firm, authorities said.
Authorities searched the family home, a wooded area near the home, the Peabody garbage processing facility north of Boston and a condominium complex where Brian Walshe's mother lives. Authorities previously said knives and blood were found in the basement of the family home.
Authorities also previously said that Brian Walshe was seen on surveillance video. buying hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning supplies at a home improvement store.
Brian Walshe had been on home confinement with a few exceptions while awaiting sentencing in a fraud case involving the sale of fake Andy Warhol paintings, according to federal court records. Police have said that the disappearance of Ana Walshe and the case of her husband appear to be unrelated.
Ana Walshe's mother, originally from Serbia, told the Belgrade Kurir newspaper before Wednesday's arraignment that she does not believe her son-in-law harmed her daughter.
“My son-in-law would not do anything to harm my Ana, and I don't believe any of the statements that have so far been related to the possibility of Brian harming her,” Milanka Ljubičić said.
“He assured me that Ana is fine and alive and I believe him. I am shocked by the new details that she was allegedly murdered because I still hope that she is alive and well."