Quincy — Brian Walsh was formally charged Wednesday with murder in the disappearance of his wife Anna Walsh in Cohasset as disturbing new details about his online searches for the case were revealed.
Walsh, 47, pleaded not guilty to the charges in Quincy County Court. (You can watch the full ruling here.)
Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland said Walsh “dismembered Anna Walsh and disposed of her body” on January 1. The remains have not been found.
The prosecutor said Walsh began an extensive series of online searches on his son’s iPad to find out how to dispose of the body at 4:55 a.m. on January 1, starting with “how long before the body odor starts to smell.” The searches allegedly included several questions about decomposing corpses and DNA, such as:
- How to prevent the body from decomposing
- 10 ways to get rid of a dead body if you really need to
- How long should the missing person inherit?
- How to get rid of body parts
- How long does DNA last?
- Identification can be determined on partial remains
- Can you be accused of murder without a body
- Can you identify a body with broken teeth
Beland laid out a more detailed timeline for the case Wednesday. Beginning on December 27, five days before Anna’s disappearance, she said, Brian Walsh googled, “What’s the best state for a man to divorce?”
Investigators said Anna Walsh, 39, a mother of three young sons, was last seen in the early hours of January 1, shortly after she had dinner at home with her husband and a friend. the friendAround 1:30 a.m. about three hours before the Internet searches began.
Brian Walsh allegedly told investigators that his wife left around 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day on a corporate flight to Logan Airport for a flight to Washington to deal with a work emergency. Police said she was not involved in a ride or flight.
Biland said Wednesday that investigators believe Brian Walsh killed his wife on Jan. 1, dismembering her body and then disposing of her. The prosecutor said Anna Walsh’s phone was left untouched at their Cohasset home until 3:14 a.m. on January 2 when it was switched off. There was no activity on her credit or debit cards.
On January 2, Brian Walsh was seen on surveillance video at Home Depot pushing a cart with cleaning products including brushes, mops, tarps, buckets, goggles and a hatchet. Investigators said he paid $450 cash for the items before leaving the store.
The next day, Beland said Walsh’s phone data showed he had traveled to an apartment complex in Upington, got out of a car near a dumpster and walked to it, carrying a garbage bag that looked heavy and left it. It was alleged that he went to two other compounds, one in Brockton, and threw items in dumpsters as well.
Beland said Walsh then did more Google searches about decomposition including, “What happens to the hair on a corpse?”
On January 4, the prosecutor said, Walsh went to a store and bought towels, bath mats, and men’s clothing, then went to Louise where he bought a mop and a trash can.
Anna Walsh was reported missing by her co-workers in Washington on January 4 when she did not show up for work.
When Cohasset police went to Walshe’s home that day for a welfare check, Beland said officers noticed the seats in his Volvo were out of order and there was “a plastic liner in the back of the car.” The prosecutor said chemists later analyzed the car and found blood in it.
Walsh’s phone records show he went to his mother’s home in Swampscott on January 5 and stopped in a dumpster there.
On January 8, police searched the couple’s home and allegedly found blood in the basement and a damaged, bloodstained knife. Bland said another knife was found. Brian Walsh was arrested that day and initially charged with misleading investigators. He pleaded not guilty and was held on $500,000 bail.
Byland said on Wednesday that when police were tracking down bags that had been thrown into a bin in Abington, they had already been picked up and burned.
The items in the Swampscot dumpster ended up at a Peabody moving station, where police recovered ten trash bags. There were bloodstains on items inside, including towels, rags, slippers, duct tape, a Tyvek suit, gloves, cleaning agents, carpeting, rugs, Hunter shoes, Prada purse, Ana’s COVID-19 vaccine card, a saw, a hatchet and some scissors, Bjland said.
“The bag and shoe were described as the last time Anna was seen,” Beland told the court, adding that “part of a necklace” was also found.
The items were tested by the state crime lab, Beland said, and DNA from both Anna and Brian Walsh was found.
Brian Walsh stared blankly as she read the damning evidence gathered in the case. Subsequently, an order was issued to hold him without bail.
Walsh is formally charged with murder, assault with intent to kill, dismemberment without lawful authority, and exhumation of human remains.
Walsh’s attorney, Tracy Miner, released this statement to WBZ-TV after the trial on Wednesday:
It is easy to accuse a crime and even easier to say that a person committed that crime. Proving that is much more difficult, and we’ll see if the prosecution can do it. I will not comment on the evidence, first because I will be prosecuting this case in court and not in the media. Secondly, because the prosecution did not provide me with any evidence. In my experience, where, as here, the prosecution leaks so-called evidence to the press before they give it to me, their case is not that strong. When they have a strong argument, they give me everything as quickly as possible. We’ll see what they have and what evidence is admissible in court, as the case will eventually be decided.
Although it may not be productive, I ask you not to flood my office, home, or cell phone with informational requests. I will not be providing any interviews or media commentary. It is my intention to win this case in court, not in the media, which have already tried and convicted Mr. Walsh.
According to the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, this is the second suspected case of domestic violence murder there in less than a month. If you or someone you know needs to escape abuse at home, call 800-799-7233. Click here for more information.