By Jean Casarez, Rob Frehse and Christina Maxouris, CNN
Ana Walshe, the Massachusetts mother of three who was last seen alive in January, was having an affair with a man in Washington, DC, before she went missing and had spent Thanksgiving with him in Ireland, new court documents say.
That man told investigators he had been dating Walshe for several months and shared they also spent Christmas Eve together, according to the documents. The pair had planned to celebrate the New Year together on January 4 after she returned from Massachusetts, the documents show.
That man was also Walshe’s most frequent cell phone contact, investigators said, citing phone records.
The documents, a collection of search warrants, affidavits and other filings by investigators probing Walshe’s disappearance, were released for the first time less than a week after Walshe’s husband pleaded not guilty to killing her.
Brian Walshe was denied bail last week and pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, misleading police, and improper conveyance of a human body. Prosecutors have alleged he killed his wife, dismembered her and got rid of her body.
The whereabouts of Ana Walshe’s body remain a mystery.
The new documents in the case also revealed this week that just days after Ana Walshe was last seen alive, investigators received an email saying “we have her here with us” and that Walshe would not be returned until she paid $127,000.
“We have the so named Ana Walshe with us here… we had a deal worth $127,000… she messed up,” read the email, which was sent from the gmail account of “richardwalker9984.” It went on to say: “We have her here with us and if she doesn’t pay the money.. then she’ll never be back, and we know that the police and the FBI are involved.. good luck finding us.”
Investigators said the email, which was sent to a Cohasset Police Department detective on January 7, was suspicious because it did not put forth a timeline to respond to the demand and did not include contact information, according to the documents.
Walshe planned to move to DC with her children, friend says
The newly released court documents also say Ana Walshe’s friend told investigators her marriage to Brian Walshe was “strained,” and she was planning to move her children to Washington, DC.
Ana Walshe — who worked for a real estate firm in Washington, DC — reportedly split her time between Massachusetts, where her husband and children lived, and Washington, where she had a home for her work, according to the documents.
Ana Walshe had allegedly given her husband some sort of ultimatum over the resolution of federal fraud charges he faced for selling fake Andy Warhol work online, the friend told investigators, adding Ana Walshe wanted the children to be with her.
In 2021, Brian Walshe pleaded guilty to three federal fraud charges related to a 2018 scheme to sell fake Andy Warhol artworks online.
“When investigators viewed Ana’s residence in Washington, DC, they observed it to be ready for the kids to move there with clothes and other items available,” the documents say.
During last week’s hearing, Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor alleged that in December 2022, “it had become evident that Mr. Walshe was suspecting his wife of having an affair.”
“He was routinely visiting the Instagram page of one of her male friends. And on December 26th, his mother — with his input and direction — obtained and hired a private investigator to surveil Ana Walshe in Washington, DC,” Connor said Thursday.
But Brian Walshe’s defense attorney disputed that allegation and said there is “really no evidence” he suspected his wife was having an affair.
“Mr. Walshe had no idea that his wife was having an affair until he learned it in discovery in this case,” attorney Tracy Miner said.
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