The mother of Ana Walshe, the Cohasset woman who has been missing since New Year’s Day, said in an interview Monday that Walshe pleaded with her to come to the US a week before she disappeared.
Milanka Ljubicic, who lives in Belgrade, Serbia, told Fox News Digital in an interview outside her apartment building Monday that Walshe urged her in a Christmas Day text message to visit her in Washington D.C. the following day.
“She just said, ‘Please, mama. Come tomorrow,’” Ljubicic said. “Which means, that clearly, there must have been some problems.”
During the interview, which Fox translated into English and published Monday night, Ljubicic said she wasn’t be able to travel on such short notice.
“I can’t get myself together in one day. I am 69 years old, I have to get my medications and a thousand other things,” Ljubicic said she told her daughter.
“And now I can’t forgive myself for not just letting things fall where they may, and just go, and whatever happens to me, happens,” Ljubicic told Fox.
At a Quincy court hearing Monday morning, Ana Walshe’s husband, Brian Walshe, 47, was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail on a criminal charge of misleading the police investigation into his wife’s disappearance.
She was reported missing Jan. 4 by co-workers, Norfolk First Assistant District Attorney Lynn M. Beland said.
What did Ana Walshe tell her mother in the days before her disappearance?
Separate from the criminal case involving his wife’s disappearance, Brian Walshe is awaiting sentencing in federal court for operating three artwork scams. One of the frauds involved selling fake Andy Warhol paintings to an art collector in Los Angeles.
Ljubicic said her daughter was “irritated” because of the limitations she faced as a result of Brian Walshe’s home confinement due to the federal case, according to the interview.
Ana Walshe “had to work in Washington living in a house by herself, while he was at home with the three kids,” Ljubicic said.
Ljubicic said Ana Walshe did not give any reason on Christmas Day why she needed to come to D.C. Ljubicic suggested to Ana Walshe that she visit on Jan. 5 or Jan. 6, but her daughter replied that Ljubicic didn’t have to make the trip.
“She said, ‘You don’t have to come in January. Brian and I are making plans for February,” Ljubicic told Fox.
She said she missed Ana Walshe’s calls around midnight on Dec. 31, and another around 1 a.m.
“She called her elder sister who was also asleep. Then she tried to call her maid-of-honor who didn’t hear the phone because of the loud music,” Ljubicic said. “And now, I regret not getting the phone, because she’s disappeared.”
She said she never noticed anything bad about her son-in-law.
“They love each other,” Ljubicic said of the couple.
Ljubicic credited Brian Walshe with saving her life in December 2021
Ljubicic has credited Brian Walshe with saving her life during a medical emergency in December 2021, while she was staying with Brian and Ana Walshe in Cohasset.
In a pair of letters to the judge in the federal case, Ljubicic has pleaded that Brian Walshe be shown mercy during sentencing. Ljubicic does not speak or write in English, and both letters were apparently translated by Ana Walshe.
In May, she told Judge Douglas P. Woodlock that Brian Walshe found her experiencing what he thought was a stroke in December 2021, and immediately called emergency services.
“I can safely say that without his presence I would not have survived,” Ljubicic said.
Ljubicic went on to say that Brian Walshe continued to care for her — including making her diabetic meals each day and taking her to doctor’s appointments.
“Brian is a kind and loving man who always puts me at ease,” Ljubicic said in a letter. “He is there for me even when he is having a tough day. He always says that I will get to see all of my grandchildren graduate from universities.”
Ljubicic told federal judge that ‘Brian always brings the feeling of safety to me’
In an August 2021 letter to Woodlock, Ljubicic said she knew of her son’s legal troubles in federal court, but argued that “these actions are completely opposite of [who] he is as a person.”
At the time, Ljubicic said she would spend six months each year with Ana Walshe, Brian Walshe, and their three sons. Brian Walshe made sure she had “unlimited access” to her grandchildren, as well as cared for her, she said.
“I raised 2 daughters during a war and genocide. I have seen evil first hand. I have seen acts of kindness and courage in the face of evil as well,” Ljubicic said. “I tell you now, Brian’s face is that of goodness.”
She also described him as a devoted father to the couple’s three sons.
In January 2019, Ljubicic’s husband — Ana’s father — fell on the street and suffered a massive heart attack, Ljubicic said. Although he was resuscitated, Brian put Ana on a flight, and she was back in Belgrade within 24 hours.
Ana Walshe was able to see her father, tell him she loved him, and say a “proper goodbye,” Ljubicic said. She called it an example of “Brian’s kindness” to his family.
“No matter the circumstances, Brian makes us all feel safe and creates happiness even in difficult times,” Ljubicic said. “Brian always brings the feeling of safety to me.”
Staff at the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in New York knew Ana Walshe
Representatives of Serbia’s government in the US met Ana Walshe when she would visit the Consulate General office in New York City for consular services, according to Olgica Vlacic, the acting consul general.
“We remember her as [a] lovely young woman. Having met her, we are all in disbelief that this is happening to her,” Vlacic said in an e-mail Tuesday.
Ana Walshe was born Ana Ljubicic in Belgrade, and holds both US and Serbian citizenship, according to Vlacic.
The office’s police attaché is in contact with investigators in the case, she said. They are grateful to Cohasset police and Massachusetts State Police for their efforts to find Ana Walshe, and bring her home safely, she said.
Serbian media are following the story of Ana’s disappearance very closely, she said.
The case has drawn widespread attention in Serbia: “Everyone in Serbia is praying for her safe return,” she said.
“In these difficult times, our hearts go out to her family and her three young sons who stand to suffer the greatest loss if Ana does not return,” Vlacic said.
See the Globe’s complete coverage of this case.
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.