As the investigation continues into the disappearance of Ana Walshe, the Cohasset mother of three who has been missing since New Year’s Day, authorities have turned their attention to her husband, Brian R. Walshe.
Here is what we know about Brian Walshe, 47, who is now in state custody for allegedly misleading police investigators.
New information in the case
During his arraignment in Quincy District Court Monday morning, prosecutors said police found blood, and a damaged knife with blood on it, in the basement of the Walshe family’s Cohasset home, following a search over the weekend.
Officials said Walshe also allegedly bought $450 worth of cleaning supplies at a Home Depot in Rockland, including gloves, a mop, and other items, on Jan. 2, the day after his wife’s apparent disappearance.
Additionally, his wife was reported missing on Jan. 4 by her co-workers in Washington, D.C., not by Brian Walshe, prosecutors said.
Initially, police had described Walshe as being cooperative with the investigation. But he was arrested Sunday and charged with misleading investigators.
First, according to Norfolk First Assistant District Attorney Lynn M. Beland, Walshe told police he drove to his mother’s house in Swampscott on Jan. 1, but got lost, and then later shopped for her at a Whole Foods and CVS.
But Walshe could not provide evidence that he had done so, Beland said. Police also said after checking video footage, they found no sign that he appeared at either store in the timeframe stated, according to officials.
Additionally, Beland said, Walshe told police he had only left his house to take his oldest son to get ice cream, or a smoothie, in Norwell on Jan. 2. But investigators said they discovered he had also gone to Home Depot that day to buy cleaning supplies.
Walshe was allegedly “wearing a black surgical mask, blue surgical gloves, and making a cash purchase,” officials said.
Walshe was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail and remained in state custody as of early Monday afternoon.
He has not been charged with any other crime.
NOW: The husband of the missing Cohasset woman, Brian Walshe, is being taken to court for his arraignment. Walshe is charged with misleading a police investigation. Police say Ana Walshe went missing on New Year’s Day. Brian reported her missing last week. @7News pic.twitter.com/PprskI8QXy— Mari Salazar (@MariSalazarTV) January 9, 2023
Police scanned wooded areas near the family’s Cohasset home on Chief Justice Cushing Highway for two days, including with K-9 units and a diving team, which searched a stream and swimming pool. That search concluded on Saturday.
On Sunday, a probe of the Walshe home lasted into the night, and an investigator was seen carrying a large plastic container out of the house.
Walshe’s wife’s whereabouts are still unknown.
On Tuesday, investigators searching for clues connected to her disappearance said “a number of items” were recovered while sifting through dumpsters near Walshe’s mother’s home in Swampscott, and at a Peabody facility operated by Republic Services.
According to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office, the items will now undergo forensic testing to determine their significance in the investigation.
Brian Walshe’s background
Walshe’s LinkedIn page lists him as chief financial officer and co-founder of a company called LETS: Leadership & Effective Teamwork Strategies. On the business listing site Crunchbase, the company is described as a firm with fewer than 10 employees that provides cybersecurity training.
His LinkedIn page also describes him as former chief financial officer for Capital Letters Consulting, and former international business strategist for Ten Sail Consulting.
Walshe married his wife, Ana, in 2015. Her LinkedIn page describes her as a general manager for Tishman Speyer, a high-end property management and real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C., which she traveled to frequently for work. The couple has three sons.
The fire at Ana Walshe’s former home
While the investigation was ongoing last week, a fire broke out Friday afternoon at a home formerly owned by his wife on Jerusalem Road in Cohasset, which she had sold in March 2022. Police said the fire, which originated near damaged piping connected to a natural gas fireplace insert, was not suspicious.
No one was injured in the blaze, which caused severe damage to the home and caused its roof to collapse, fire officials said.
Walshe’s art fraud case
Walshe is awaiting sentencing in federal court for his role in a series of art scams, one of which involved selling fake Andy Warhol paintings.
Walshe admitted that he sold two phony works of art for $80,000, after claiming they were part of the celebrated artist’s “Shadows” collection, to Ron Rivlin, owner of the Warhol-focused Revolver Gallery in Los Angeles.
When Rivlin inspected the pieces and realized they were fake, he said he demanded Walshe pay him back. But Walshe returned only $30,000, according to officials.
In 2021, Walshe pleaded guilty in US District Court in Boston to one count each of wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods, and unlawful monetary transaction.
Authorities have said they do not believe the case has any connection to the disappearance of his wife.
Dispute over his father’s estate
Walshe is also mired in a dispute with family members over the estate of his late father, Dr. Thomas Morecroft Walshe, who died in India in September of 2018.
On July 16, 2019, his cousin, Andrew Walshe, of New York, alleged in court documents that Brian Walshe had “destroyed” his father’s will in an effort to financially benefit from his estate.
He alleged Brian Walshe lied when he said that his father had not written a will before his death, and provided photos of a document that purportedly showed that Walshe’s father had written a will, and had explicitly left Walshe out of it.
The cousin said in the document that Walshe’s father told him his son “had ran off with a significant amount of [his father’s] money,” and that he and his son had been estranged for more than a decade.
Under pressure from the federal court, Walshe has promised — but not yet provided — an accounting of his handling of assets in his late father’s estate, according to records.
John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.