The husband of missing Massachusetts woman Ana Walshe had her mother hire a private investigator to follow his wife days before she disappeared because he suspected she was having an affair, prosecutors argued in court Thursday morning. .

Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor claimed Brian Walshe’s mother hired a private investigator «with her input and direction» on December 26 to follow Ana Walshe in Washington, DC, where she lived for the week. for his work at Tishman Speyer, a real company. property company. That month, Brian Walshe had been «routinely visiting the Instagram page of one of his friends,» Connor said.

Brian Walshe’s mother could not immediately be reached by phone or email.

Prosecutors also claimed that Brian Walshe was motivated to claim his wife’s more than $2.7 million life insurance policy, of which he was the sole beneficiary.

Brian Walshe’s attorney, Tracy Miner, denied that charge, stating that his mother is wealthy and that there is «no evidence that she needed money in the slightest.» Miner also claimed that Brian Walshe told his mother that she was «crazy» for hiring a private investigator and that he never suspected his wife was having an affair.

The explosive indictments are among several new details prosecutors revealed after Brian Walshe pleaded not guilty in Norfolk Superior Court to charges of murdering his wife, misleading a police investigation/obstructing justice and improper transportation of a human body.

Brian Walshe shook his head as the charges were read out in court on Thursday. He appeared handcuffed, with short hair and dressed in formal clothes. He said nothing more than «good morning» to the judge and «not guilty» when he pleaded guilty.

A Norfolk County grand jury indicted Brian Walshe on those charges last month, moving the case to Norfolk Superior Court after it was initially arraigned in Quincy District Court in January.

missing for months

Ana Walshe was last seen by a family friend in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 at the family’s home in Cohasset, a suburb about 27 miles southeast of Boston, Connor said. After her husband reported her missing to her colleagues on January 4, the company’s head of security reported her missing to the police.

But at the time, Connor alleged, Brian Walshe had «killed her, dismembered her, and disposed of her body.»

Ana Walshe’s body has not been recovered. Experts say it is possible for a defendant to be charged and convicted of murder without a body, as long as there is enough circumstantial evidence for a jury to infer that the victim is dead and the defendant is guilty.

Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland earlier said investigators found the couple’s DNA, along with a Covid vaccination card for Ana Walshe and some of her clothing, a hacksaw, cutting shears and an axe, in garbage bags in a dumpster at Brian Walshe’s mother’s house. apartment complex in Swampscott, about 40 miles north of Cohasset. Investigators also said they found blood and a blood-damaged knife in the basement of Walshe’s home.

Connor added in court that investigators also found carpets in the family’s living room and kitchen that contained reddish-brown stains and a piece of a Gucci necklace that Ana Walshe used to wear in the dumpster.

Brian Walshe’s car also tested positive for the presumptive presence of blood throughout, Connor said.

Miner tried to cast doubt on the evidence presented by the prosecution, which seems to imply that Ana Walshe may have disappeared voluntarily, and argued that there was no evidence that she was dead.

«It’s easy for a single person to disappear if they want to disappear,» Miner said.

He added that one of eight swabs investigators collected from the couple’s basement that they thought contained blood tested negative for Brian Walshe’s DNA, and that blood believed to have been found on a Tyvek suit found in a dumpster he tested positive for an unknown person and his client could not be conclusively traced. Miner added that three domestic police searches conducted with blood-sniffing canines also yielded no results, as did a drain from the family swimming pool.

Miner also said that Brian Walshe waited a few days to inquire about Ana Walshe’s whereabouts because it had been common for her in the months leading up to her disappearance not to communicate with him for days while he was working in DC.

More disturbing searches on the Internet

Connor said that the day after Brian Walshe’s mother hired the private investigator, someone using her oldest son’s iPad did Google searches that included «best states to get divorced» and «worst states to get divorced.»

Those are some of a litany of other previously reported disturbing internet searches, including «10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to» and «how to keep a body from decomposing,» which prosecutors accused Brian Walshe of doing. in connection with the disappearance of his wife.

Connor added that on January 1, Brian Walshe also searched for «how long does it take someone to get paid» and visited a luxury watch website.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 2, Connor said, Brian Walshe used his oldest son’s iPad to conduct additional, previously unreported searches about a company that cleans up crime scenes and how to remove blood from concrete, which is the surface of the couple’s house. basement.

After Brian Walshe turned in the devices on January 6 and investigators downloaded his history and location data, «it became clear that the defendant had not been telling the truth,» Connor claimed.

Miner admitted in court that the Internet searches appear «problematic» but claimed they were among other searches Brian Walshe also conducted, including «the best places to go on family vacations.» He added that Brian Walshe voluntarily turned over the devices to investigators.

On December 28, Ana Walshe had dinner with a friend in DC and became «unusually upset,» Connor said, saying she believed her husband was going to go to jail on charges he faces in a federal wire fraud case, and that she she was prepared to give it up and move her kids to DC

Two days later, on December 30, Ana Walshe flew back to Massachusetts, where she hoped to stay until January 3.

Miner asked the judge to set bond for Brian Walshe at $250,000 cash and stated that «it’s not easy to disappear with three young children», claiming there was therefore no flight risk. (A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families previously told NBC News that the three children are in state custody.)

The judge denied Miner’s request and ordered Brian Walshe held without bail. He is next due to appear in court on August 23 for a pretrial conference.

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