Ana Walshe

DNA testing in Ana Walshe murder case nearing completion at state lab

With so much evidence to sift through for both sides, the next hearing in the Walshe case won't be held until October

NBC10 Boston/Contributed Photo

Key questions in the Ana Walshe murder case could be answered in the coming weeks, with the state DNA lab expected to finish testing on about a dozen items in the case at the month's end.

Brian Walshe, Ana's husband who is accused of dismembering and discarding her body in early 2023, had his appearance waived for a short hearing on Monday afternoon. The hearing was held in Suffolk Superior Court after the Karen Read defense team rested their case. Judge Beverly Cannone is presiding over both cases.



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During Monday's hearing, Commonwealth prosecutors offered an update on the discovery process that is still ongoing.

Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor told the court that he's received all the crime lab materials, and plans to file a notice of discovery, with the exception of the state DNA lab testing. He said the DNA lab expects to finish testing on their items at the end of this month, and he will file another notice of discovery afterwards.

Bode, a private crime lab in Virginia, has items that are exhaustive, Connor said, adding that "decisions may need to be made" about an expert perhaps being sent there or possibly a waiver.

A spokesperson for the Norfolk District Attorney's Office that the term "exhaustive" essentially means that there is such a small amount of the sample, that there will only be one opportunity to test it. In these cases, the testing must be done jointly by the state and defense.

Defense attorney Larry Tipton said that given the amount of discovery to sift through, setting a trial date wouldn't be a good idea at this point.

The court ended up setting Oct. 2 as the next hearing date for discovery motions. Walshe is expected to attend that hearing.

The Walshe case is one of the most high-profile murder cases in the area in recent years. Ana Walshe was first reported missing just a few days into 2023, and as the search for her grew more desperate, her husband Brian began facing charges. He was first charged with misleading police, and eventually murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Before he was charged with murder, before his arrest, before the manhunt for his wife in the swamps of Cohasset, Massachusetts, around Boston, and in Washington, D.C., there was another set of searches, prosecutors say, on Google — on their son's iPad — starting early the morning when Brian Walshe would later say Ana Walshe went missing...

The 39-year-old mom of three's body was never recovered. Prosecutors alleged that Brian killed her in their Cohasset home early New Year's Day, dismembered her body and discarded it into the trash.

Walshe allegedly made a series of Google searches on their son's iPad that centered around discarding of a body.

Prosecutors will likely need to lean on digital evidence — including DNA lab testing and internet searches — to try and secure a conviction from a jury, since Ana's body was never found, criminal justice experts have told NBC10 Boston.

During the search for Ana, law enforcement eventually found in a dumpster near Brian's mother's house pieces of clothes and jewelry that Brian Walshe said she was wearing when she left their house early New Year's Day, along with a hacksaw that had a bone fragment in, prosecutors have said.

The case officer in the Walshe murder investigation is Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Proctor — the trooper who also managed the John O'Keefe murder investigation, and is now under fire for his unprofessional conduct that has come to light in Karen Read's trial.

Earlier this month, Tipton told NBC10 Boston that he has not yet concluded there is any investigator bias involving his client, but what he’s heard in the Karen Read case has raised his suspicions. This matter did not come up during Monday's hearing.

You can get a full recap on the Walshe case in the NBC10 Boston podcast, "The Searches for Ana Walshe." You can stream it wherever you get podcasts.

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