Ransom note sent to detectives in early days of Ana Walshe murder investigation
COHASSET, Mass. (WLNE) — Court records from the investigation into the murder of Massachusetts mother Ana Walshe contain a transcription of a mysterious ransom note that was sent to a detective a few days after she was reported missing, WCVB-TV reports.
The mysterious fact is contained in a search warrant application, which was among numerous documents obtained by 5 Investigates.
The records offer a roadmap of the early days of the investigation, which began when Ana Walshe was reported missing in early January and culminated in Brian Walshe’s arrest. A grand jury indicted him on murder charges, and he was arraigned last week in Norfolk Superior Court.
The last time Ana Walshe was seen alive by someone outside the family was in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 when a friend attended a New Year’s dinner with the couple at their Cohasset home. The 39-year-old mother of three was originally reported missing by her employer on Jan. 4.
Walshe was entered into the National Crime Information Center database as a missing or endangered person that day.
At 5:18 a.m. on Jan. 7, a Cohasset Police Department detective received an email from a Gmail account, which said:
“We have the so named Ana Walshe with us here…we had 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.”
Former FBI agent Brad Garrett told ABC News the purported ransom note contains several oddities, including the strange dollar amount and poor use of English. Garrett also notes that there was no method suggested for someone to pay the ransom.
“A ransom note is extremely important, if it’s real. The problem is in high-profile cases, people will jump into a crisis situation and extort people and they have nothing to do with the missing person or deceased person. So separating fact from fantasy here is the real deal for police as they look at these cases,” said Garrett.
Garrett also said, “The other possibility is that it was written, or the defendant in this case, Ana’s husband, who’s been charged with her murder, that he either read it himself or had somebody else write it to throw off the trail of investigators away from him.”
Other new details from the documents include information from the couple’s nanny and details from an interview detectives conducted with a man in Washington, D.C., who said he had been dating Ana for months, saying they had spent Thanksgiving together in Dublin.
A friend of Ana’s said she had given Brian Walshe an “ultimatum” about his impending sentencing on federal art fraud charges and was planning on moving her children down to Washington to live with her.
The warrant also reveals that state crime lab analysts “conducted testing on various surfaces and floors” within the couple’s Cohasset home, and “multiple locations” in the basement and stairwell leading down to the basement tested positive for blood.
Investigators also found a knife inside a cabinet above the refrigerator, which was next to “multiple bottles of hydrogen peroxide.” The knife later tested positive for blood.