Can you be charged for murder if there’s no body? Brian Walshe googled it, police say

In the days after his wife disappeared, Brian Walshe went on a Google spree, authorities say — asking questions about disposing of dead bodies, cleaning up blood,

dismembering someone and dealing with crime scene evidence. He also allegedly wanted to know: “Can you be charged with murder without a body?” On Tuesday, he

found out the answer is yes. He was charged with killing his wife, Ana Walshe, two weeks after she went missing. Investigators have not found her body — but they say they have

found evidence, including 10 garbage bags with bloodstained items, a hacksaw, a hatchet, cleaning supplies and cutting shears. They also alleged that Walshe, 47, disposed of other

trash that was later incinerated. Though he was charged, the allegations against him have not been proven. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, and if the case goes to

trial, a jury would hear more evidence than what prosecutors presented this week. At a hearing Wednesday, prosecutors presented evidence including the Google searches,

which Walshe allegedly made on his child’s iPad. Murder cases where bodies are never found are not uncommon. Though circumstantial evidence can be enough to convict

someone, these cases can be harder to prove, experts said. Prosecutors have to convince a jury both that the missing person is dead and that the accused killed them, and the lack

of a body provides openings for effective defenses. But the Walshe case is an unusual example of this type of crime, experts said Thursday, because so much evidence was

allegedly left behind.