Ana Walshe

Here's What We Know About Brian Walshe, Husband of Missing Cohasset Woman Ana Walshe

Brian Walshe, 46, has been taken into custody and charged with misleading a police investigation while authorities continue investigating Ana Walshe's disappearance

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The husband of missing Cohasset, Massachusetts, woman Ana Walshe, was arrested Sunday on accusations that he misled authorities during their investigation into his wife's disapperance. NBC10 Boston has learned this is not the first time he's had a run-in with the law -- he pled guilty in 2021 to federal fraud charges.

Brian Walshe, 46, was taken into custody and is facing charges that he misled a police investigation while authorities continue searching for Ana Walshe. The 39-year-old has not been seen since New Year's Day.  

Anyone with information on Walshe's whereabouts is urged to contact detectives at 781-830-4990.

Court documents from a federal fraud case shed some light on Brian Walshe's history with law enforcement. In 2021, Brian Walshe pled guilty to federal fraud charges. According to court documents, investigators believe he took the authentic paintings from a friend and used photographs of them and their documentation to attempt to sell replicas on eBay.

The case started in 2016 when a buyer saw two Andy Warhol paintings for sale on eBay. The listing, according to prosecutors, included photographs of authentication stamps. The buyer arranged to buy those paintings, part of the "Shadows" series, for $80,000. However, after having an assistant pick the paintings up, the buyer discovered there were no authentication stamps and that the canvas looked new. This ultimately led to an FBI investigation.

Brian Walshe had gained access to the paintings by telling a friend, who was the lawful owner of the paintings, that he could help sell them for a good price, the court documents state. However, that friend told investigators that after Brian Walshe took the art, he was unable to contact him. The art in question was valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Brian Walshe was arrested in that investigation in 2018. He would ultimately plead guilty to one count each of wire fraud, interstate transportation for a scheme to defraud, possession of converted goods and unlawful monetary transaction.

In court documents detailing the investigation, there were also references to Ana Knipp, who was identified as Brian Walshe's wife.

NBC10 Boston reached out to Brian Walshe's attorney prior to his arrest. Tracy Miner responded Sunday and confirmed she is representing Brian Walshe but said she had no comment.

Cohasset police have now referred questions about Ana Walshe, the mother of three who went missing on New Year's Day, to the Norfolk District Attorney's Office.

The investigation into Ana Walshe's disappearance

State and local police continue to investigate Ana Walshe's disappearance. Friends tell NBC10 Boston that Walshe, a wife and mother to three young boys, would not go days without communicating with her family.

Earlier Sunday, Cohasset police referred all questions to the DA's office after investigators returned to the Walshe family home, less than 12 hours after state and local police said they had wrapped up their search efforts that were concentrated near the couple's house off Chief Justice Cushing Highway.

That search came despite a statement Saturday where Massachusetts State Police and Cohasset police said their ground search "for Ana Walshe or evidence related to her disappearance is concluding." It is unclear if Sunday's activity was a renewed search, or related to Brian Walshe's arrest.

Police have asked for the public's help finding the missing mom, who was last seen by a family member at her Cohasset home around 4 or 5 a.m. Sunday. She was reported missing Wednesday by her husband, and police were simultaneously alerted by her employer in Washington D.C. that she had not been seen.

State and local police said detectives are continuing "various investigative actions" to locate Walshe, who is described as 5'2" tall, weighing about 115 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes, an olive complexion and speaks with an Eastern European accent.

Anyone with information on Walshe's whereabouts is urged to contact detectives at 781-830-4990.

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