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Ana Walshe investigators recover ‘a number of items’ during dumpster searches, DA’s office says

Missing woman Ana Walshe.

Investigators searching for clues in the disappearance of Ana Walshe recovered “a number of items” in dumpsters north of Boston on Monday, officials said.

Authorities searched dumpsters in Swampscott near the home of Brian Walshe’s mother, a transfer station in Peabody along with a waste-to-energy facility south of Boston in Wareham, officials said.

The recovered items will undergo forensic testing as part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the Cohasset mother of three, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office said Tuesday.

Ana Walshe, 39, was last seen by a friend on New Year’s Day morning. Her husband, Brian Walshe, 47, is currently being held on $500,000 cash bail for allegedly misleading police who have been searching for the real estate executive since she was reported missing by co-workers on Jan. 4.

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On Monday, investigators traveled to a condominium development where Brian Walshe’s mother, Diana, lives. Officers draped crime scene tape across a dumpster there and also searched the trash facility in Peabody, about an hour’s drive from Cohasset.

Two law enforcement officials who were briefed on the case said investigators recovered a hacksaw and blood evidence in trash at the transfer station in Peabody.

Also Monday, investigators traveled to the Southeastern Massachusetts Resource Recovery Facility in Wareham, where they reviewed video footage of trucks coming in to the property but didn’t take any items, the facility confirmed Tuesday.

“Search activity conducted north of Boston yesterday resulted in a number of items being collected which will now be subject to processing and testing to determine if they are of evidentiary value to this investigation,” David Traub, a spokesman for Morrissey, said Tuesday by e-mail. “No detail on those items will be disclosed at this time.”

Detectives from Cohasset and State Police spent much of the day Tuesday at the Walshe’s home on Chief Justice Cushing Highway in Cohasset, where they completed the search and processing of the scene, according to Morrissey’s office. They had been at the property since Sunday.

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The couple has three boys the eldest of whom is 6 who are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families, an agency spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to the Globe on Tuesday. Citing state and federal privacy laws, no further information was released.

Tracy A. Miner, who is representing Brian Walshe in both federal and state court, was not granting interviews or issuing any statements about her client, her office said Tuesday.

In Quincy District Court on Monday, where Brian Walshe pleaded not guilty to a single count of misleading police, prosecutors have said they discovered blood and a damaged knife with blood on it in the basement of the couple’s home.

No new charges have been filed against Walshe as a result of the items recovered on Sunday, Traub said.

“There is no anticipated change or adjustment of the charges in place in this matter at this time,” he said.

Walshe remained in custody Tuesday at the Norfolk County House of Correction in Dedham.

Since last week, police have searched the grounds of the family’s South Shore home and wooded areas nearby.

Authorities have said that Walshe provided changing and false accounts of his interactions with his wife dating back to the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, when he claimed she told him she had to fly to Washington, D.C., because of a work emergency, according to a police report.

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Walshe said his wife usually took a rideshare or taxi to get to Logan Airport, but Norfolk First Assistant District Attorney Lynn M. Beland said in court there are no records that Ana Walshe hired a rideshare service or flew out of Logan that day. Walshe had a ticket for a Jan. 3 flight to Washington, D.C., but never took that flight, she said.

Beland said Walshe told investigators that he left home around 3 p.m. on New Year’s Day to visit his mother in Swampscott but lost his way, according to a police report. He said he went shopping at Whole Foods and CVS in Swampscott but authorities say they found no evidence he was at either store.

“Walshe was not observed on video from Whole Foods or CVS in the time frame that he stated he was there,” the police report stated. Beland said he could not provide any receipts from the stores.

“It is also important to note this is day one of Ana being missing,” she said.

On Jan. 2, Walshe told investigators he only left his house to take one of his sons to get ice cream, authorities said. But investigators learned he went to a Home Depot in Rockland and purchased $450 in cleaning supplies, including mops, buckets, tarps, tape, and drop cloths, Beland said. Video from the store showed Walshe wearing a black surgical mask and blue gloves and paying in cash, police said in the report.

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Beland, a former homicide prosecutor in Suffolk County, said the fact that Ana Walshe was not reported missing until Jan. 4 gave her husband “time to clean up, to dispose of evidence.” Ana Walshe’s cellphone pinged in the area of the Cohasset address on Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 but has since gone quiet.

Miner said in court her client has been “incredibly cooperative” and asked a judge to reject prosecutors’ request for high bail, noting he is charged only with misleading police.

“He is not charged with murder,” she said. Coven set bail at $500,000; Walshe is due back in court on Feb 9.

Walshe is also awaiting sentencing in federal court in Boston for scamming a Los Angeles art collector who paid $80,000 for two Andy Warhol paintings that were later determined to be fake.

He was allowed to remain free on the federal charges after his mother posted $75,000 in cash toward his bond in that case, according to court records. She also asked the judge to let her son remain at home while awaiting trial.

Authorities have said they do not see a connection between the Warhol case and his wife’s disappearance.

Walshe was arrested on Sunday after police spent the entire day inside his home. As darkness fell, an investigator carried a large plastic container from the house.

On Friday, a two-alarm fire broke out at a Cohasset home that Ana Walshe had formerly owned, but authorities said it was not suspicious. The fire originated in an area of damaged piping connected to a natural gas fireplace insert, officials said.

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Ana Walshe bought the Jerusalem Road home for $800,000 in 2020 and sold it for $1.385 million in March, according to officials and state records.

That same month, Ana accepted a position with the real estate firm of Tishman Speyer. The position, which came with a large salary increase and health care benefits for her family, requires her to work in Washington, D.C. for much of the time, according to a memo filed in Brian Walshe’s federal case in June.

Ana Walshe sold her Cohasset home and used the proceeds to buy a home in Washington D.C., according to the memo.

This is a developing story and will be updated. Travis Andersen of the Globe staff contributed.

See the Globe’s complete coverage of this case.



John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him @JREbosglobe. Mike Bello can be reached at michael.bello@globe.com. Follow him @thebelloblotter.