DEDHAM − The state's crime lab has finished analyzing evidence in the death of Cohasset's Ana Walshe, lawyers said during a hearing in Superior Court, where Walshe's husband, Brian, is scheduled to be tried on murder charges.
Walshe is accused of killing Ana, who prosecutors say was last seen on the morning of Jan. 1, 2023.
Lawyers at Thursday's pretrial hearing discussed issues related to discovery, the process by which both parties share evidence they plan to present at trial.
Brian Walshe's defense attorney Tracy Miner said she expected discovery to be complete by the end of the year.
In April, Walshe pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, misleading a police officer and improper conveyance of a human body.
The next hearing in the high-profile case is scheduled for Jan. 23. Walshe, who did not appear in court Thursday, also waived his right to be present at the January hearing.
The prosecution's case against Walshe
In court documents, Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor wrote that Walshe suspected his wife was having an affair in December 2022. The two were married in 2015 and had three sons, who were all under 7 years old in January 2023.
Ana Walshe spent weekdays in Washington, D.C., where she worked for the international property management firm Tishman Speyer, returning on the weekends to Cohasset, where her husband and children lived in a rented house.
Brian Walshe had pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges involving the sale of fake Andy Warhol paintings in April 2021. He was under home confinement orders as he awaited sentencing at the time of his wife's disappearance, with the exception of dropping off and picking up his kids from school and day care.
The family intended to move to Ana Walshe's home in Washington, D.C., in July 2022, but the plan was repeatedly thwarted by delays in the federal criminal case against Walshe, Connor wrote.
In December 2022, Walshe began to suspect his wife of infidelity. He repeatedly checked the Instagram page of one of Ana Walshe's male friends in Washington and had his mother hire a private investigator to surveil his wife and gather proof of her suspected affair, Connor wrote.
On Dec. 28, Ana Walshe told a friend that she believed her husband would be imprisoned and that she wanted to leave him and bring her children to live with her in Washington, according to the prosecution's statement.
'How to dispose of a human body?' A pattern of troubling internet searches
On Jan. 6, investigators obtained phones and computer devices in Walshe's home. Disturbing internet activity was discovered on the iPad of Walshe's oldest son.
On Jan. 1, searches included "how to dispose of a human body," "how long does it take for a dead body to smell," and "how long does someone have to be missing to be declared dead," prosecutors say.
Later that day, internet records show research into human decomposition, disposal of body parts and methods in cleaning up a crime scene.
The next morning, on Jan. 2, the iPad's records show searches into cleaning blood and DNA from objects, removing SIM cards from phones, mixing ammonia and the location of apartment complexes in Brockton, prosecutors say.
That afternoon, more searches inquired into how long Lowe's hardware store and apartment complexes keep security video. The iPad also accessed articles about dismembering a human body, Connor wrote.
From about 1 to 7 a.m. Jan. 3, the iPad visited webpages about the elimination of odor from decomposing bodies, detection of blood using fluorescein and the removal of blood stains from concrete. Connors wrote that Walshe's Cohasset home has concrete flooring in the basement.
Brian Walshe's movements in the days following his wife's disappearance
On Jan. 1, Walshe traveled to Swampscott, where his mother lives in an apartment complex, Connor wrote. His movements were tracked through cellphone data and surveillance video.
In Swampscott, Walshe appeared in a liquor store's surveillance video putting items into a dumpster. That same afternoon, video from Lowe's in Danvers shows him buying 13 bottles of hydrogen peroxide. Later, at Stop & Shop in Swampscott, Walshe is seen on video buying jugs of ammonia.
On Jan. 2, security video from HomeGoods in Norwell shows Walshe buying area rugs and scented candles. Connor wrote that the Walshe's babysitter said he changed the downstairs' area rugs and kitchen trashcan within a week of his wife's disappearance.
At 4 p.m. on the same day, surveillance video shows Walshe at Home Depot in Rockland, where he buys 5-gallon buckets with leak proof lids, a hatchet, plastic sheeting, 24 pounds of baking soda and a Tyvek suit.
On Jan. 3, Walshe appeared on video at three different apartment complexes in Abington and one in Brockton, Connor wrote. In two videos, he is seen taking items from his Volvo to the area of the dumpsters. A third video shows him putting a heavy trash bag into a dumpster, according to the statement.
On Jan. 5, Walshe's phone was traced to Swampscott, specifically to the area around the dumpsters at his mother's apartment complex, Connors wrote.
Physical evidence collected by investigators in the Walshe case
On Jan. 8, Cohasset and State Police searched Walshe's home and Volvo SUV. Connor wrote that investigators found eight red brown stains in the basement that tested positive for blood.
In the Volvo, Conor cited evidence of blood found near the driver's-side seat controls, on the passenger floor mats and in the rear trunk of the Volvo.
All the dumpsters Walshe visited save one had been emptied before investigators could search their contents, which were shredded and incinerated at a recycling facility, according to the prosecution's statement of its case.
In the dumpster outside Walshe's mother's apartment complex, a Jan. 8 search yielded Ana Walshe's COVID vaccination card and several items of clothing and accessories she was known to wear, including a Hermes watch, Hunter boots, a black Prada purse and a Gucci necklace.
In the same dumpster, investigators found rugs with red brown stains and items known to be purchased by Walshe at Lowe's and Home Depot, including a Tyvek suit, a hacksaw, a hammer, a hatchet and shears, Connor wrote.
The Tyvek suit had red brown stains, Conor wrote, and tested positive for Ana Walshe's DNA. A small bone fragment was discovered in the hacksaw, which was also stained red brown.
What Brian Walshe's lawyer said in his defense
At Walshe's arraignment in April, his defense attorney Tracy Miner said that in Massachusetts a missing person is not presumed dead for seven years because of the ease with which someone can disappear.
"There has been no body found," Miner said. "... There is no murder weapon. There is no motive."
Responding to the prosecution's claim that Walshe suspected his wife of infidelity, Miner said the hired investigator found no evidence of an affair.
"Mr. Walshe had no idea his wife was having an affair until he learned it in the discovery of this case," she said.
Thanks to our subscribers, who help make this coverage possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting quality local journalism with a Patriot Ledger subscription. Here is our latest offer.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Walshe murder case evidence analyzed. Hearing set for Jan. 23