Cause of death identified for woman found in Ocean City

A Plano woman found partially buried in the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, died of accidental suffocation after walking onto the beach alone, police said Wednesday.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the body is that of Ashley O'Connor, 30, of Plano, Texas.

Ocean City police spokeswoman Lindsay Richard said by phone Tuesday that only an arm was visible above the sand.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Ocean City Police Department said that she was apparently suffocated in a hole as the sand closed in on her.

Beachgoers discovered the body Monday morning.

O'Connor got separated from her family on the beach about 2 a.m. Monday morning, according to city officials; early signs show her death may have been an accident, but police say nothing is being ruled out at this point. But Richard didn't rule out that a beach vehicle that combs the sand and clears trash may have covered O'Connor.

The body was removed at 4:15 PM and the beach was open to the public at 5:00 PM.

The investigation is still ongoing, police said.

Anyone that may have more information about the circumstances surrounding her death is asked to call the Ocean City Police Department Major Crimes Unit at 410-723-6604.

  • Jack Mann