Police return to home of missing Cohasset woman after ending ground search

COHASSET − Investigators returned Sunday morning to the home of a missing Cohasset woman who has not been seen since she was supposed to catch a flight early on New Year's Day.

Sunday's unexpected mobilization follows a decision Saturday night by State Police and the Cohasset Police Department to end a two-day ground search for the woman, Ana Walshe.

In a joint statement, the State Police and Cohasset police said their ground search for Walshe ended at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities said 20 troopers from the State Police Special Emergency Response Team, which is trained in search-and-rescue operations, as well as three K-9 teams and the State Police Air Wing Unit searched wooded areas near Walshe's home off Chief Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A) for the second straight day.

State Police divers also searched a small stream and a pool, according to authorities.

"The ground search will not resume unless police develop new information that so warrants it. Simultaneously, state police and Cohasset police detectives continue to undertake various investigative actions to determine Ms. Walshe's whereabouts," the joint statement reads.

At about 1:45 p.m. Saturday, Sky5 spotted a group draining and cleaning out the swimming pool at Walshe's Cohasset home. At least one police officer appeared to be digging up old leaves that were along the bottom of the in-ground pool.

Walshe, 39, was last seen early Sunday morning in her Cohasset home, and her cellphone and credit and debit cards have been inactive since that day, Cohasset Police Chief William Quigley said.

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She was reported missing Wednesday, simultaneously, by her husband, who lives in Cohasset, and her employer, who is based in Washington, D.C.

Quigley said the family owns a townhouse in the nation's capital. He said the Metropolitan Police Department searched the home and found no sign of Walshe there.

"She does work in D.C., and it's not abnormal for her to work long hours and not contact the home," Quigley said.

A Cohasset Police Department spokesperson said Cohasset and State Police detectives arrived in Washington early Saturday morning as part of the investigation.

Friends said Walshe commutes to Washington during the week for work at a real estate company, Tishman Speyer, a job she started last year. She's active on social media, but friends say those accounts went silent Sunday when she was due to catch a flight.

Ana Walshe, 39, of Cohasset, has been reported missing, Cohasset police said Thursday, Jan.
Ana Walshe, 39, of Cohasset, has been reported missing, Cohasset police said Thursday, Jan.  

"She's a loving and loyal wife and mother of three beautiful boys," Alissa Kirby, a friend, said. "She loves her family, and I know in my heart that of her choice, she would not go a day without speaking to her husband and her kids."

On Friday, the State Police Special Emergency Response Team and a regional police team spent much of the day searching the area near Walshe's home. The search was called off for the night at about 6:30 p.m. after officers covered an area of about 1 square mile.

The search for Walshe in that area resumed between 9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday.

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While law enforcement searched for Walshe on Friday, a fire broke out in her former home at 725 Jerusalem Road in Cohasset. Officials said the current residents of the home called 911 when the fire began.

That address is where Walshe lived until recently. Zillow shows the property was sold on March 17, 2022.

Fire department officials said they worked for about an hour to put out the flames. Most of their work had to be done from the exterior because of safety concerns, including a partial collapse of the roof.

Three adults and a baby all got out of the home safely, officials said.

An Massachusetts environmental police officer points out something to a state trooper during their search for Ana Walshe across the street from her home on Rt.
An Massachusetts environmental police officer points out something to a state trooper during their search for Ana Walshe across the street from her home on Rt.  

Quigley acknowledged the connection and said any possible connection between Walshe's disappearance and the fire would be investigated.

On Saturday, a spokesperson for the state fire marshal's office told NewsCenter 5 that Cohasset and state investigators determined that the fire at Walshe's former home was not suspicious.

The spokesperson said the fire started in the area of damaged piping that is connected to a natural gas fireplace insert. In their joint statement, State Police and Cohasset police said the fire was accidental.

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A family member told police Walshe was supposed to take a ride-share to Boston Logan International Airport on Sunday. Officials confirmed with the airlines that Walshe did not board a plane this week.

"It's been reported that she was called to D.C. to handle some type of emergency at one of the properties that she manages. That's why she was attempting to go to D.C. (on New Year's Day)," Quigley said. "She did have a flight booked for Jan. 3, but she never got on that flight."

Quigley said Walshe's husband, friends, family and employer have been cooperative in the investigation.

"Life is challenging sometimes," Quigley said. "She has small kids - the oldest being 6 and the youngest being 2. The holidays, working out of state - sometimes life gets chaotic, and it may be a case where she needed a break, and if that's the case, we need a call from her or someone who has talked to her," Quigley said.

Police said Walshe is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes and an olive complexion. Walshe speaks with an eastern European accent, police said.

Anyone with information about Walshe's whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Harrison Schmidt at 781-383-1055 ext. 6108 or email hschmidt@cohassetpolice.com.

Cohasset police have also set up a new email for tips at tips@cohassetpolice.com.

This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Ground search suspended in case of missing Cohasset woman Ana Walshe


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