When Brian Walshe appeared in court on Wednesday to be charged with allegedly killing his wife, state prosecutors outlined the evidence gathered so far in the case, including DNA and alleged search history.
Around the time Ana Walshe was last reportedly seen, Brian Walshe allegedly made a number of Google searches on his son's iPad, including "How long before a body starts to smell?" and "Dismemberment and the best ways to dispose of a body."
Meanwhile, on slippers, a Tyvek suit and tissues recovered from the trash, DNA was found that belonged to one or both of the couple, according to prosecutors.
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Experts told NBC10 Boston that the digital footprint can make for strong evidence, even without finding Ana Walshe's body.
"It really does paint a very bad picture for Brian Walshe as far as this case goes," Retired FBI Agent Ken Gray said. "And it is the reason why, in my opinion, that they are able to go forward with this murder trial, is that the combination of the searches and the forensic evidence that they have found make up for the loss of a body.”
Professor of criminal justice at Lasell University Dr. Kellie Wallace agreed that a series clues collected can really add up.
“I think folks forget a lot of the time that we leave digital footprints everywhere we go, whether we think we do or not," Dr. Wallace said. "So certain search histories, surveillance camera footage, cell phone towers pinging you, all of these things are little pieces of evidence that add up to be pretty big in the long run.”
Brian Walshe has pleaded not guilty to all three of the charges he faces in this case.
His attorney said in a statement that it's easy to charge a crime, but more difficult to prove it. Walshe is expected back in court in February.