The missing woman’s husband had business and personal ties to the North Shore News

MARBLEHEAD – Investigators searching for a missing Cohasset woman spent several days searching and trying to retrace the movements of her husband, Brian R. Walshe, after he allegedly told them he had traveled to Swampscott last week to visit his mother and run errands for her.

Walshe, who is currently in custody on charges of lying to police during an interview, not only had personal ties to the North Shore – where his mother, Diana Walshe, lives in a luxury apartment complex on Vinnin Square in Swampscott – but where Walshe also lived and, at least on paper, founded several companies, in Marblehead and Lynn, court records show.

Officials have yet to confirm what they found in two dumpsters that were towed from a Swampscott apartment complex and searched at Peabody Waste Management Company — Republic Services on Forest Street late Monday — saying in a statement that “a number of items” were collected and will be examined for potential probative value.

The prosecutor also said in court that investigators found a broken knife and blood in the basement of a home the couple rented in Cohasset.

In an affidavit filed Monday in Quincy District Court, Cohasset police say Walshe, 47, told them that hours after he last saw his wife, Anna, around 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, he traveled to Swampscott to see his mother, who recently had cataract surgery. Walshe, who was under house arrest awaiting sentencing in a federal art fraud case, was granted permission to leave his home between 3pm and 9pm on January 1 to take his mother home to her apartment, telling the court she would stay with him until that date. However, Walshe told police that his mother recovered more quickly and, he said, drove herself home earlier. He told investigators he planned to run some errands for her and went to the CVS and Whole Foods stores near her home.

Walshe told investigators he couldn’t find his cell phone and suggested one of his sons must have taken it and hidden it, so he was without a GPS while driving to the North Shore. He further said that he got lost on the way and ended up, he believes, taking Route 1, and possibly Route 114, to get to his mother’s home.

Investigators spent part of Saturday looking for a possible route and looking at surveillance images from the CVS and Whole Foods in Vinnin Square. They found no evidence that he ever set foot in either store, according to the affidavit.

But they say they have evidence that Walshe was at a Home Depot in Rockland on the morning of Jan. 2, during the time he is normally allowed to leave the house each day to bring his children to school, and bought $450 worth of cleaning supplies and other subjects. He wore a mask and gloves in the store.

He also took his older child to the Norwell ice cream shop that morning. There was no school that day. Police said in their affidavit that he could violate bail conditions in the federal case.

Investigators returned to the North Shore on Monday and Tuesday, when the items were found in the dumpsters.

Swampscott police helped control access to the area that was searched Monday afternoon and evening, said department spokesman Sgt. Jay Locke said.

Glen Johnson, a spokesman for the Essex District Attorney, said state police from their office are also on hand to assist their colleagues from the Norfolk District Attorney’s office at the search sites.

Investigators were aware of at least some of Walshe’s legal history when they returned to the area.

Walshe lived in an apartment at 589 Essex St. in Lynn when he was arrested in October 2018 in an art fraud case. This is also the address he used when he founded “Tobelos LLC”, an alleged wine brokerage, in May 2018.

Then, in September 2018, just weeks before his arrest in the federal case, he formed an entity called “Moorecroft Wines,” according to records in the secretary of state’s corporation division. That company was also established as a wine brokerage, with an address at 6 Edgewood Road in Marblehead.

Ana Walshe bought and closed on 6 Edgewood Road, September 17, 2018, paying $510,000 for the property. Brian Walshe was not named on the document, but was listed on the declaration of title for the property, according to the registry of deeds. This would mean that it was the couple’s primary residence while the estate was in effect.

Ana Walshe sold the property in November 2020 for $840,000, according to property records.

According to an affidavit filed in the estate dispute, Walshe’s father, Dr. Thomas Moorecroft Walshe, died on September 21, 2018.

Within weeks of his father’s death, Walshe, who according to relatives had become estranged from his father — allegedly because he “ran off” with nearly $1 million from his father — was appointed personal representative of the doctor’s wealthy estate.

The estate included a house on Nantasket Avenue in Hull, an extensive collection of art, antiques and carpets, as well as a Maserati and jewellery. In a filing in Plymouth County Probate and Family Court, Walshe said his father died intestate.

But a cousin, Andrew Walshe, claims there was in fact a will, one that specifically disinherited Brian Walshe.

And the father’s longtime friend Jeffrey Brice Ornstein, a well-known interior designer who worked on the Hulls’ home, says in an affidavit that shortly after learning of Dr. Walshe’s death, Brian Walshe contacted him asking for keys to the house so he could obtain the documents needed to bringing his father’s remains home to the United States. Ornstein says in the affidavit that while he was in the house, he noticed the will and took a photo of it.

He took the keys and left them under the rug for Brian Walshe, according to the affidavit.

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