Prosecutors said new DNA results are expected in just a matter of weeks in their case against a Massachusetts man accused of murdering his wife, Ana Walshe.
Ms Walshe, 39, was last seen at her home just after midnight on New Year’s Day. Her body has not been found, but prosecutors are trying to prove that her husband, Brian Walshe, murdered and dismembered the mother-of-three.
In a court appearance on Tuesday, prosecutors said they are awaiting the results of DNA testing as they continue to build their case against Mr Walshe, WHDH reported.
The convicted art fraudster was arrested on 8 January on charges for hindering the police investigation after prosecutors said that traces of blood and a knife were found in the basement of her family home. On 17 January, he was charged with his wife’s murder.
While court proceedings continued on Tuesday, another search for Ms Walshe was conducted in a wooded area of Peabody, Massachusetts.
The search location was less than a mile from the Peabody Transfer Station where investigators said they found evidence in this case back in January.
But the search yielded nothing, according to Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrisey’s office.
“Two persons in the Peabody community unconnected to the prosecution of Brian Walshe contacted State Police investigators with their belief that an area of that community may be of investigative interest in that matter,” spokesman David Traub said in a statement.
“A search of that area by the Massachusetts State Police SERT team yielded nothing.”
Police in Cohasset first announced that Ms Walshe was missing in a statement on 5 January and asked for the public’s help in finding her.
Authorities said that she was last seen at her home shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, and described her as being 5 feet 2 inches tall, 115 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and an olive complexion. They state that she speaks with an Eastern European accent.
She had been due to take a ride-share car from her home to Boston’s Logan Airport to take a flight to Washington DC, where she works in real estate, police said. Tishman Speyer reported her missing on 4 January, and police in Cohasset performed a welfare check at the family home.
A criminal affidavit in the case states that Mr Walshe told police that he last saw his wife at their home early on 1 January when she took an Uber or Lyft to the airport.
He also told authorities that he went to a Whole Foods and a CVS in Swampscott, Massachusetts, 40 miles away, on 1 January and took his child to get ice cream the following day.
The affidavit states that police did not find that any Uber or Lyft ride had taken place on New Year’s Day, and Ms Walshe never took a flight to DC or arrived in the city by any other means of transport.
Prosecutors also say they reviewed video footage of Whole Foods and CVS and did not see Mr Walshe at either location.
The search for Ms Walshe initially focused on wooded areas near the family’s home.
Officials said that 20 troopers from a specialised search and rescue were joined by three police K9 teams and a police helicopter in the search. State police divers also searched a small stream and drained the home’s swimming pool.
Ms Walshe lived with her family in Cohasset, Massachusetts, but worked in real estate in Washington DC during the week.
Ms Walshe was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and was working at the Wheatleigh Hotel in Lenox when she met Mr Walshe in 2008. After their 2015 marriage, they had three sons between two and six years old.
The couple’s three young boys were placed in the care of the Department of Children and Families following Mr Walshe’s first arrest.