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DNA results coming soon in Ana Walshe murder case, prosecutors say in court filing

Ana and Brian Walshe.Facebook

Prosecutors said Tuesday they are awaiting DNA results from items linked to the murder case against Brian Walshe, a Cohasset man who allegedly murdered his wife on Jan. 1 and dismembered her body.

In a filing in Norfolk Superior Court, where Walshe has pleaded not guilty in the slaying of 39-year-old Ana Walshe, Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor said prosecutors are “awaiting DNA analysis from an independent laboratory and [are] expected to have those results in approximately two weeks.”

Connor didn’t specify the sources of the expected DNA results, and a spokesperson for Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrisey’s office declined to comment beyond the filing.

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Investigators found clothes and jewelry that Brian Walshe said his wife was wearing when she left their Cohasset home early on New Year’s Day in a dumpster at a liquor store near his mother’s home in Swampscott, according to prosecutors. They said they also found a hacksaw that contained a bone fragment.

Also on Tuesday, State Police searched a wooded area off Interstate 95 in Peabody in connection with the investigation but found no evidence, according to David Traub, Morrissey’s spokesperson.

“Two persons in the Peabody community unconnected to the prosecution of Brian Walshe contacted State Police investigators with their belief that an area of that community may be of investigative interest in that matter,” Traub said in a statement. The search “yielded nothing,” he said.

When Walshe, 47 was arraigned in Superior Court in April, prosecutors disclosed that he had hired a private detective in the days before his wife’s disappearance because he suspected she was having an affair and that he was the sole beneficiary of her $2.7 million life insurance policy.

Brian Walshe photographed in January.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Ana Walshe was reported missing by her co-workers on Jan. 4. When authorities asked Brian Walshe why he did not immediately report her missing, he said she had previously disappeared for about 24 hours around Christmas and was not returning his calls, according to court documents.

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The couple had three children, all under the age of 6 at the time of the slaying.

On New Year’s Eve, the couple hosted Ana Walshe’s former employer at their house, who left at about 1:30 a.m. “That was the last time someone had seen Ana Walshe alive outside of the defendant,” Connor said during the April hearing.

The guest told investigators he had dinner with the couple and they shared champagne and wine, according to an affidavit. Brian and Ana Walshe were in a good mood and everyone enjoyed themselves, he said, adding that Ana Walshe appeared to be a bit “tipsy” from the alcohol, while Brian Walshe appeared unimpaired.

By 4:50 a.m., authorities allege, Ana Walshe was dead and her husband allegedly used his son’s iPad to conduct a number of disturbing internet searches such as “How long before a body starts to smell?” and “How long for someone to be missing to inheritance?”

Over the next several days, prosecutors allege, Walshe dismembered his wife’s body in the basement and discarded her clothes and other evidence. He also allegedly disposed her remains in dumpsters at apartment complexes in Abington and Brockton.

Walshe’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

A pre-trial conference had been scheduled for Wednesday, but on Tuesday Judge Beverly J. Cannone approved a joint request from prosecutors and the defense to postpone the hearing until Nov. 2, records show.

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“The Commonwealth and the defense are still in the process of identifying and exchanging discovery,” Connor wrote in the filing.



Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.