COHASSET, Mass. -- Blood and a knife were found in the basement of a missing Massachusetts woman's home shortly after her husband purchased hundreds of dollars of cleaning supplies, prosecutors said in court Monday.
Ana Walshe, 39, was last seen early Sunday morning in her Cohasset home. Her cellphone, and credit and debit cards have been inactive since that day, according to police.
According to Cohasset and Massachusetts State Police, her husband, Brian Walshe, was taken into custody Sunday and was charged with misleading a police investigation.
Brian Walshe, 47, was arraigned Monday where he pleaded not guilty to misleading a police investigation. Prosecutors told the court that Walshe's statements about his activities in the days after his wife's disappearance didn't match what was uncovered by investigators.
Prosecutors said those activities included a trip to a local home improvement store to purchase a tarp and cleaning supplies. Investigators also said they found a knife and blood in the basement area of the family's home.
The judge ordered Walshe be held on $500,000 cash bail or a $5 million surety as the investigation into his wife's disappearance continues.
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Ana Walshe was reported missing Wednesday by her husband and her employer, who is based in Washington, D.C., WCVB reported.
Cohasset police Chief William Quigley said the family owns a townhouse in the nation's capital, but noted that the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. searched the home and found no sign of Walshe there.
"She does work in D.C., and it's not abnormal for her to work long hours and not contact the home," Quigley said.
Friends said Walshe commutes to Washington during the week for work at real estate company Tishman Speyer, a job she started last year. She's active on social media, but friends say those accounts went silent on Sunday when she was due to catch a flight.
"She's a loving and loyal wife and mother of three beautiful boys," Alissa Kirby, a friend, said. "She loves her family, and I know in my heart that of her choice, she would not go a day without speaking to her husband and her kids."
On Friday, the Massachusetts State Police Special Emergency Response Team and a regional police team spent much of the day searching the area near Walshe's home along Chief Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A). The search was called off for the night at approximately 6:30 p.m. after officers covered an area of approximately one square mile.
The search for Walshe in that area resumed between 9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday. Cohasset police said two other sectors are being searched on Saturday with the help of K-9 officers.
At about 1:45 p.m. Saturday, a group was spotted draining and cleaning out the swimming pool at Walshe's Cohasset home. At least one police officer appeared to be digging up old leaves that were along the bottom of the in-ground pool.
While law enforcement searched for Walshe on Friday, a fire broke out in her former home in the 700-block of Jerusalem Road in Cohasset. Officials said the current residents of the home were the ones who called 911 when the fire began. A source said that address is the home where Walshe resided until recently. Zillow shows the property was last sold on March 17, 2022.
Fire department officials said they worked for about an hour to douse the flames. Most of their work had to be done from the exterior because of safety concerns, including a partial collapse of the roof.
Three adults and a baby all exited the home safely, officials said.
Quigley acknowledged the connection and said any possible connection between Walshe's disappearance and the fire would be investigated.
On Saturday, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services - also known as the State Fire Marshal's Office - said that Cohasset and state investigators determined that the fire at Walshe's former home was not suspicious.
The DFS spokesperson said the fire started in the area of damaged piping that is connected to a natural gas fireplace insert.
A family member told police that Walshe was supposed to take a ride-share to Boston Logan International Airport on Sunday; however, officials confirmed with the airlines that Walshe did not board a plane this week.
"It's been reported that she was called to D.C. to handle some type of emergency at one of the properties that she manages. That's why she was attempting to go to D.C. (on New Year's Day)," Quigley said. "She did have a flight booked for Jan. 3, but she never got on that flight."
State Police search an area off Route 3A in connection with the case. Quigley said Walshe's husband, friends, family and employer have been cooperative in the investigation.
"Life is challenging sometimes. She has small kids - the oldest being 6 and the youngest being 2 - the holidays, working out of state - sometimes life gets chaotic, and it may be a case where she needed a break, and if that's the case, we need a call from her or someone who has talked to her," Quigley said.
Police said Walshe is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes and an olive complexion.
Walshe speaks with an eastern European accent, police also said.
Anyone with information about Walshe's whereabouts is asked to contact Det. Harrison Schmidt at 781-383-1055 extension 6108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.