Ana's husband claimed she'd vanished. Then US police say they found his gruesome internet search history (2023)

After throwing a dinner party on New Year's Eve, Ana Walshe and her husband Brian hugged their friends at the entrance to their Massachusetts home and closed the door behind them.

Gem Mutlu said he had no idea this would be the last time he saw Ms Walshe.

Nothing appeared to be amiss during what he described as an "elaborate" dinner with the couple attheir home in the wealthy seaside enclave of Cohasset.

"She was texting with friends. She was sitting next to me at the bar stool at their kitchen," he told local media.

"There was absolutely no indication that any modicum of a tragedy, of disappearance, or anything else could have happened that night."

But days later, Mutlureceived a call from Brian Walshe that left him uneasy.

Ms Walshe'shusband claimedthat just hours after their party ended,sheleft the house for a workemergency in Washington DC and never returned.

It seemed out of character to Mutlu that the mother of three young boys would travel for business on a public holiday.

"A part of me had this suspicion all along that there may have been foul play and that somehow just the story just wasn't adding up," he said.

In the three weeks since his wife vanished, the image of suburban perfection embraced by Brian Walshe has slowly unravelled.

Allegations of domestic violence and art fraud have surfaced.

While her body has not been found, a trail of evidence, including a series of chilling Google searches, has left police convinced Ms Walshe is dead.

Authorities say Ms Walshe's likely death appears to be the second murder rooted in domestic violence to strike the small region outside Boston in less than a month.

Advocates say if the cases are proven, they serve as a gruesome reminder that, even in one of the most picturesque and wealthy parts of America, women can be at risk in their own homes.

Fake Warhol paintings and acontested will

Born in Serbia, Ms Walshe lived through years of war and ethnic conflict before moving to New York for university.

Friends and family say the 39-year-old's remarkable rise to become a high-powered real estate agent in her new country was a testament to her grit and determination.

"So many aspects of the positions I held in the beginning did not include any glamorous tasks —making beds, cleaning toilets, polishing glasses, setting up tables, serving bread," she wrote on Instagram of those first years in America as a young immigrant.

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"Some 15 + years later, [I] reap the benefits of the work ethic, discipline and endurance and cherish memories of the journey like no other."

Ana's husband claimed she'd vanished. Then US police say they found his gruesome internet search history (1)

She met her future husband in 2008 when she was working at a sprawling luxury hotel in rural Massachusetts.

The son of a prominent Boston neurosurgeon who was educated at private boarding schools, Mr Walshe appeared to have it all.

But his relationship with Ms Walshe might not have been as perfect as it appeared on their social media feeds.

A police document from 2014 reveals Ms Walshe filed a complaint alleging her husband "made a statement over the telephone that he was going to kill [her] and her friend".

No charges were ever filed and Ms Walshe eventually declined to cooperate with the investigation. The couple married the following year.

In 2016, Mr Walshe offered to sell a collection of paintings on a friend's behalf, including two priceyAndy Warhol works.

He took the artfrom South Korea back to the United States, and the friend told police he then stopped returning his phone calls.

According to court documents, Mr Walshe sold a set of Warhol paintings on eBay to a collector for $US80,000 ($112,000).

But when the paintings arrived, the gallery owner immediately knew they werefake.

MrWalshe's friend told the court that while he eventually managed to recover some of his paintings, several works, including the original Warhols, remain missing.

Ana's husband claimed she'd vanished. Then US police say they found his gruesome internet search history (2)

MrWalshe pleaded guilty in 2021 to wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction.

Ana wrote a letter to the judge asking him toconsider giving her husband a lenient prison sentence due to what she described as Mr Walshe's "childhood trauma".

"He was taught to lie and hide," she wrote.

(Video) Ana Walshe murder: An in-depth look into where the case stands and what comes next

"He was told that he was a loser, that his parents should not have had him, that he had no chances of making anything of himself in life, and that he was a lost cause. A deep sense of shame governed his life."

Mr Walshe's family problems also ended up in court.

His father, who died in 2018, wrote in his will that he was leaving his son "my best wishes and nothing else".

However, Mr Walshe's relatives later alleged in court that he destroyed the will, appointed himself as executor of his father's estate, and then sold off his Salvador Dali paintings, expensive rugs and a car.

A copy of the will later emerged and Mr Walshe was removed as executor before he could sell off any other assets.

Mr Walshe maintained that his father's signature on the will was suspicious and suggested "possible forgery".

In the months before Ana's disappearance, Mr Walshe was under federal house arrest awaiting sentencing on the art fraud charges.

Meanwhile, Ana was building a successful career for herself as a real estate agent and appeared to be distancing herself from her husband.

The judge in Mr Walshe's fraud caseindicated that Ana was no longer living full time at the Massachusetts home.

Her friends claimshe was preparing to bring her sons with her to Washington DC, where she worked.

And property searches show she had a real estate portfolio that was separate from Mr Walshe andworth at least $US1.8 million.

How Ana's disappearance turned into a murder investigation

Mr Walshe called police to report his wife missing on January 4.

He told them she had left the house early on New Year's Day, saying she had to get to Washington DC for a work problem.

But there was no record of an Uber ride to the airport or any flights to DC taken by Ana in early January.

Her bank cards also showed no activity and her mobile phone was switched off.

Police and several sniffer dogs searched the area and divers scoured the bottom of a stream running near the family home.

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But four days after she was reported missing, there was a sinister turn in the case.

Police arrested Mr Walshe and charged him with hindering their investigation.

Ana's husband claimed she'd vanished. Then US police say they found his gruesome internet search history (4)

According to an affidavit filed in court, detectives discovered that Mr Walshe had repeatedly lied about his whereabouts in the days after Ana's disappearance.

The terms of Mr Walshe's pre-sentencing confinement required him to report to authorities every time he left the house and inform them where he was heading.

He told police that in the days after Ana vanished, he had gone grocery shopping and taken his mother home after minor surgery.

But CCTV footage proved otherwise.

On January 2, Mr Walshe paid $US450 cash for cleaning products, mops, brushes, tape, a tarp, a protective plastic suit with boot covers, buckets, goggles, baking soda and a hatchet.

Security cameras captured him putting those items in his cart while wearing a surgical mask and gloves.

Mr Walshe pleaded not guilty to misleading investigators, but 10 days later, authorities charged him with Ana's murder.

Police are yet to recover a body, but prosecutors say they have no doubt Ana was killed.

They allege that on December 27, Mr Walshe Googled: "What's the best state for divorce for a man?"

In early January, just minutes before he reported his wife missing, prosecutors say Mr Walshe made more than a dozen disturbing online searches. They include:

  • 4:55 am: "How long before a body starts to smell"
  • 4:58 am: "How to stop a body from decomposing"
  • 5:47 am: "10 ways to dispose of a dead body if you really need to"
  • 6:25 am: "How long for someone to be missing to inherit"
  • 9:34 am: "How long does DNA last"
  • 9:59 am: "Can identification be made on partial remains"
  • 1:08 pm: "What happens when you put body parts in ammonia"
  • 1:21 pm: "Is it better to put crime scene clothes away or wash them"

Prosecutors allege Mr Walshe continually consulted the internet in the ensuing days, using his son's iPad for searches including,"Can you be charged with murder without a body."

They have surveillance footage and phone location data that shows Mr Walshe disposing of rubbish bags in several dumpsters about a 30-minute drive from the family home.

A local garbage disposal facility emptied and incinerated the contents of the dumpsters before police could get to them.

Ana's husband claimed she'd vanished. Then US police say they found his gruesome internet search history (5)

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A search of the house also turned up a knife and traces of blood in the basement, according to Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland.

"Rather than divorce, it is believed that Brian Walshe dismembered Ana Walshe and discarded her body," she told a court.

Mr Walshe is being held without bail, and his lawyer says he will clear his name in court.

'We are devastated'

Of all women killed in the US in 2021, 34 per cent died at the hands of an intimate partner, according to US Bureau of Justice statistics.

About 6 per centof the men killed in the US in the same perioddied in similar circumstances.

Norfolk County authorities say they believe Ana is the second woman killed by her partner in the tight-knit community in a matter of weeks.

In mid-December, Amber Buckner was found stabbed to death in a shed behind her home not far from where Ana lived.

Her ex-partner has been charged with her murder.

Domestic violence advocates say the alleged crimes in the most affluent county in Massachusetts underscorethe need for more resources for victims across the US.

Ana's husband claimed she'd vanished. Then US police say they found his gruesome internet search history (6)

"The fact that it's as prevalent as it is, is unbelievable," said Alfee Westgroves, an advocate who works at a Massachusetts women's shelter.

"Even though I have to believe it,and I've seen it, I've heard it."

Ana's three sons are now in state custody.

"We are devastated. Ana is such a beacon of love and joy," family friend Peter Kirby said in a statement.

"She lights up every room. We miss her and are doing everything we can to support her three beautiful children."

Posted, updated

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