Massachusetts mom-of-three Ana Walshe vanished from her family’s home near Boston on New Year’s Day, last seen by her husband when he claims she left for the airport around 6 a.m.
Spouse Brian Walshe is currently in jail, arrested on Jan. 8 for hindering cops’ investigation into his wife’s disappearance, with them claiming he’d been untruthful to them about his version of events.
Here is how the baffling case has unfolded so far:
Apparently strong marriage — then signs of trouble
Ana — a real-estate executive with the luxury Tishman Speyer group — had moved to Boston in 2015 to marry Brian and they started a family together a year later. They now have three sons aged between two and six.
She gushed about her husband in a letter to a Massachusetts judge in June, to support him ahead of his sentencing in a case where he pleaded guilty to art fraud, for faking a pair of Andy Warhol paintings and selling them to a gallery owner.
Ana showered Brian with praise for helping her mother when she suffered a brain aneurysm in Deccember 2021.
“Not only did [Brian] save her life, but he also brought her and the entire family comfort and joy during the course of her illness,” Ana wrote.
“Brian has been working consistently on breaking the past bad habits of his family and we are all looking forward to the new chapter of his life,” she ominously continued.
However, by Christmas time, she seemed to have a change of heart and messaged her mother begging for her help.
“She just said, ‘Please, Mama. Come tomorrow,’” Milanka Ljubicic told Fox News Digital on Monday from her home in Belgrade.
“Which means that clearly, there must have been some problems.”
New Year’s Eve party
On Dec. 31, the Walshes hosted their friend, Gem Mutlu, for New Year’s Eve dinner beginning around 8:30 p.m.
“There was a lot of looking forward to the new year. There was no indication of anything other than celebrating the new year, problems on hold,” Multu told WBZ-TV this week.
“She was texting with friends. She was sitting next to me at the barstool at their kitchen. There was absolutely no indication that any modicum of a tragedy, of disappearance, or anything else could have happened that night.”
Multu left the couple’s home around 1 or 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, authorities have said.
Around that time, Ana made phone calls to her mother, her older sister, and her maid-of-honor, none of which were answered, her mom later said.
“And now I regret not getting the phone because she’s disappeared,” her mom lamented.
A ‘work emergency‘
Brian Walshe initially told police that his wife woke him up early Jan. 1, saying she had a “work emergency” and needed to fly to DC, according to a police affidavit.
“Ana got ready and kissed him goodbye and told him to go back to sleep,” the statement reads.
Her husband said she ordered a rideshare to take her to Boston Logan International Airport, but there is no record of her being picked up or boarding a flight, according to cops. Local reports state that her phone also continued to ping in the area around the family’s home for two days.
A mysterious visit
On the afternoon of Jan. 1, hours after Ana allegedly departed from the home, Brian Walshe left the couple’s three sons with a babysitter and drove to visit his mother, cops said he told them.
The 60-minute drive to his mother’s home in Swampscott became a 90-minute trek when, Brian claims, he became lost. He told cops that after arriving at his mom’s home, he ran errands for her at CVS and Whole Foods.
Brian did not have his phone with him at the time, saying one of the children had hidden it, and he arrived back at the family’s Cohasset residence around 8 p.m.
A sketchy errand
Brian then claimed to have discovered his phone the next day under a pillow on Jan. 2.
In addition, the arrest affidavit states Brian took one of his sons for a chocolate shake or ice cream that morning, during the timeframe he was typically allowed to leave the residence to take the children to school. School was closed that day because of the holiday.
According to law enforcement, Brian violated his parole conditions later that day by visiting Home Depot around 4 p.m. Clad in a black mask and blue surgical gloves, he reportedly used cash to buy $450 of cleaning supplies. This visit broke the terms of his home arrest, as all trips must be pre-approved by cops before he made them.
Finally, cops are notified
Brian Walshe finally reported Ana missing Jan. 4, three days after he says he last saw her.
In the arrest affidavit, police say they responded to a call about a possible missing person around 6:35 p.m. They subsequently interviewed Brian multiple times about the events of Jan. 1 and Jan. 2.
Ana’s employer, Tishman Speyer, also reported her missing that day, after being alerted by Brian.
Hubby’s hunt for footage
The day after Brian reported his wife missing, he called the couple’s landlord, asking if the home owner had any surveillance cameras up or had seen his wife, saying Ana had vanished, the local NBC affiliate reported.
The landlord said there were no security cameras at the property and didn’t find anything unusual about the request at the time. Given later developments, he said he is now suspicious.
The home owner added the couple always paid their rent in advance and the worst he could say about them was their dog sometimes barked too much.
‘Very strange coincidence‘
By Jan. 6, a massive search for Ana involving Cohasset police, K-9 units, METRO-LEC Search and Rescue, State Police SERT Teams, and State Police investigators was under way, the affidavit said.
At a press conference that day, Cohasset Police Chief William Quigley acknowledged the case was “concerning.”
“We are trying to locate Ana and get her home safely,” he said.
That same afternoon, a fire broke out at the Walshes’ former Cohasset home.
First responders arrived at the Jerusalem Road residence to find the blaze began in the attic because of pipe damage. The couple and toddler who lived in the home, as well as their nanny, were evacuated safely.
Although investigators later ruled the fire was unrelated to Ana’s disappearance, Chief Quigley admitted that the timing was a “very strange coincidence.”
On Jan. 7, officers spent “multiple hours” combing surveillance footage for evidence of Brian’s alleged stops at CVS and Whole Foods on Jan. 1, court papers said.
“Walshe was not observed on video from Whole Foods or CVS in the time frame he stated that he was there,” one document said.
Police also allegedly found Internet searches Brian had made on “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body,” as well as blood in the family’s basement.
“Blood was found in the basement area, as well as a knife, which also contains some blood … Part of the knife was damaged,” prosecutor Lynn Beland told a judge Monday.
Brian Walshe was arrested Sunday, Jan. 8, and charged with intentionally misleading police in the investigation into his wife’s disappearance.
“During the course of the investigation, police developed probable cause to believe that her husband Brian Walshe had committed the crime of misleading police investigators,” the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office said at the time.
The family’s gray Volvo was also taken into evidence.
Brian flashed a grin Monday morning while being escorted into Quincy District Court, where he pleaded not guilty. He pleaded not guilty to interfering with the police’s investigation into Ana’s disappearance, but is currently being held on $500,000 bond.
Digging for clues
Later on Monday, investigators accompanied by police canines found more suspicious materials – including a hacksaw, a hatchet and a rug – at a trash transfer facility in Peabody, a little over an hour from Cohasset, a report said.
Around the same time, law enforcement towed two dumpsters and a trash compactor from Brian’s mother’s Swampscott apartment complex, a neighbor told The Post.
In a statement Tuesday, the Norfolk DA’s Office declined to comment further on the investigation.
Questions about the couple’s young children were directed to the state’s Department of Children and Families, with whom they are in custody.
The investigation and media interest surrounding Ana’s disappearance has invited comparisons to similar missing persons’ cases, including that of Jennifer Farber Dulos, 50, the Connecticut mother of five who vanished in May 2019.
Though Jennifer’s remains were never found, her estranged husband Fotis Dulos was under investigation for her murder when he died by suicide in 2020. A domestic violence law called “Jennifer’s Law” was adopted in Connecticut in her honor in 2021.
Additional reporting by Steven Vago in Massachusetts