COHASSET, MASS. (WHDH) - The husband of a missing Cohasset woman was arraigned on a charge of misleading a police investigation and ordered held on $500,000 bail, after prosecutors described bloody evidence being found at the family’s home.
Brian Walshe, 46, of Cohasset, appeared in Quincy District Court on Monday after being arrested the day before as police continue to investigate the disappearance of his wife, 39-year-old Ana Walshe, who was last seen at her home shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day.
Prosecutors say the husband misled police by telling them Ana had left for the airport in an Uber or Lyft on Jan. 1 to fly to Washington D.C., where she works for a real estate agency. However, officials said there was no evidence she left the house and that her phone pinged at her home location on both Jan. 2.
“Police were notified around Jan. 4 by her employees in Washington, D.C., that she had not shown up for work on Jan. 4,” Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland said in court.
The prosecution described how Brian had told police that he went to his mother’s house in Swampscott on New Year’s Day, but that it took him longer than it should have because he got lost. He also said he went to Whole Foods and CVS, but officials stated he was not seen on surveillance video at either store and that there were no receipts for the items he claimed to have purchased.
Additionally, prosecutors said Brian claimed the only time he left his home on Jan. 2 was to take his son for a smoothie. However, he was seen on surveillance video around 4 p.m. at a Home Depot in Rockland, where he purchased $450 worth of cleaning supplies, including mops, a bucket, and tarps.
Police later obtained a search warrant and searched the house they were renting, where they found blood in the basement and a knife with blood on it.
“Crime Scene Services recovered and found blood in the basement-area, in a section of the basement,” Beland stated. “There was also a knife that was found. On the knife, there was also blood and part of the knife was damaged.”
Walshe’s attorney told the court her client has been nothing but cooperative with authorities during the investigation over the past several days, emphasizing that Walshe has not been charged with murder.
“The charges are not anything relating – he’s not charged with murder,” defense attorney Tracy Minor said. “He’s charged with misleading investigators by not saying, as I understand it, he went to Home Depot.”
Minor said Walshe had allowed authorities into the family’s home throughout the investigation, consenting to the searches, and that he was the reason Ana was reported missing in the first place, being the one who contacted her employer in Washington, D.C.
WATCH: Brian Walshe’s full arraignment in Quincy District Court
The case is not Brian’s first run-in with the law, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. In 2018, he pleaded guilty in a wire fraud case after selling two fake Andy Warhol paintings on eBay and has been on house arrest since 2021 while awaiting sentencing in federal court.
Walshe was accused of selling the paintings in 2016 to buyers who later discovered the works were missing authentications from The Andy Warhol Foundation. The pieces also had new staples and canvas that indicated they were fake to the new owners.
The buyers were unable to get in contact with Walshe for a refund, according to authorities, leading to the proceedings. Officials also learned he had previously tried selling the same pieces in 2011 to an art gallery that turned him down when he was unable to produce a bill of sale.
Due to arrangements made in the 2018 case, Walshe was required to specify when he was going to and from his residence in Cohasset while he awaits sentencing. According to court paperwork, the week of Jan. 1, 2023, Walshe was approved to drop his children off at school between 8-10:30 a.m. and then pick them up from 3:15-6:45 p.m.
However, on Sunday, Jan. 1, he also reportedly asked authorities to be out from 3-9 p.m. specifically to transport his mother, who had just had cataract surgery. He said she was able to drive herself home instead, so he took that time to run errands, including stops at Whole Foods and CVS, which prosecutors claimed never happened.
On Monday, Jan. 2, prosecutors say Walshe claimed to have taken his oldest child for a smoothie during the aforementioned school drop-off time, though there was no school due to it being a holiday. Law officials say that was when he went to the Home Depot in Rockland.
Walshe pleaded not guilty to the misleading police charge he now faces. He is set to appear back in court in early February.
In the meantime, 7NEWS sources say the couple’s three children are in state custody.
Ana Walshe’s place of work, Tishman Speyer, has since released a statement reading:
“We are actively assisting the local authorities in their ongoing search for our beloved colleague, Ana, and are praying for her safe return.”
This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.
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