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COHASSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Newly unsealed court documents show a Cohasset police detective who was investigating the disappearance of Ana Walshe received a ransom note days after she was reported missing.
The information is contained in a search warrant application, which was among more than 460 pages of court documents obtained by 12 News.
On Jan. 7, close to 5:20 a.m., the detective received an email from a Gmail account with the username “Richard Walker” which said: “We have the so named Ana walshe with us here..we have a deal worth $127,000..she messed up..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.’”
The email did not include a deadline on when to respond.
The hundreds of pages of court records offer a detailed timeline, largely of the early days of the investigation. A few weeks after Ana Walshe was reported missing, her husband Brian was arraigned on a charge of assault with intent to murder, along with a charge related to moving a body. He was ordered held without bail.
Brian Walshe, 46, has since been indicted on charges of first-degree murder, misleading a police investigation, and improper conveyance of a human body. He continues to be held without bail.
His wife’s body has still not been found.
The last time the 39-year-old was seen alive was in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, when a friend attended a New Year’s dinner at their Cohasset home. Court documents show that friend was interviewed by police and stated that “everyone was enjoying themselves and in a good mood.”
In another interview with the family friend, he mentioned Ana appeared to be a bit “tipsy” that night, while Brian was not impaired.
The friend said he texted the couple on New Year’s Day, but they did not respond in a group chat. It wasn’t until the next day that only Brian responded.
On Jan. 4, the friend told investigators that Brian called him and “sounded distraught and little off,” saying he hadn’t heard from Ana in three days. The friend asked if the couple had fought, and Brian asked the friend something to the effect of, “Did it look like we were arguing?”
The friend also told police about two other friends of Ana’s that may have information that could help. Investigators traveled to Washington, D.C., and spoke to attorneys representing a man who resides there and “is the most frequent contact with Ana on the cell phone records in possession of investigators.”
The man stated that he “was in a dating relationship with Ana and had been for several months,” and that it had recently become serious, with the couple spending holidays together.
The man claimed he and Ana were open about their relationship in Washington, where Ana worked and lived part-time. He said they had plans to celebrate the New Year on Jan. 4 when she returned from Massachusetts.
Investigators also noted they spoke with Ana’s friend, who said the couple’s marriage was “strained” and Ana was planning to have the kids live with her in Washington.
Investigators looked at Ana’s place in Washington and said it appeared ready for kids to move in.
Walshe had been on home confinement, with some exceptions, while awaiting sentencing in a fraud case involving the sale of fake Andy Warhol paintings, according to federal court records.
Ana’s friend told investigators the 39-year-old also reportedly gave “some sort of ultimatum” to Brian about the resolution of his criminal case.
The court records also went into detail about what locations in the Cohasset home were searched, including a wooden shed and pool. On a visit to the home, detectives noticed the pool filter was running, but the water was full of black water, dirt and debris. An eventual search found no evidence of Ana there.
Other new details from the documents include information from the couple’s nanny, who told investigators Brian had asked her to watch the kids on Jan. 1 so he and Ana could go out to brunch.
The nanny said when she arrived, Brian told her Ana had to return to Washington for a work emergency, but the nanny could still watch the children since he had errands.
Court documents say the nanny “described Brian as a calm and collective person, but on this day … stated he appeared to be preoccupied with something.”
The nanny also claimed that throughout the day, the kids never mentioned Ana, “which was out of the norm.”
New surveillance photos were also included in the court documents. The images allegedly show Brian purchasing cleaning products, towels and a hacksaw, among many other items at a Home Depot in Rockland.
Investigators obtained warrants to search and install GPS trackers in three cars Brian was known to operate.
All electronic devices in the Cohasset house were seized, along with an iPad at Ana’s Washington apartment.
As prosecutors said during Brian’s first court appearance, detectives uncovered a series of gruesome internet searches he made on his son’s iPad before and after Ana was last seen, including “10 ways to dispose of a body” and “can you be charged with murder without a body.”
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