Woman found buried in sand on Maryland beach

Officials have ruled the death of Ashley O'Connor, 30, who was found dead in a hole on a beach in Ocean City, an accident.
2:05 | 08/02/17

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Transcript for Woman found buried in sand on Maryland beach
Turning to that beach mystery in Maryland. A woman's body found buried in a hole in the sand. Authorities are warning beachgoers about digging and leaving holes behind. Linzie Janis has more on that. Reporter: Authorities say 30-year-old Ashley o'connor was Washington on the beach in the middle of the night when she apparently got into or fell into a hole. The sand collapsing on her burying her alive. This morning, Maryland authorities warning against digging large holes on the beach after a 30-year-old woman died. Beachgoers discovering her body just before dawn Monday. My beach operator is telling me that all they can see is an arm sticking out of the sand. They think they have a deceased body. Reporter: Ashley o'connor, an artist from Plano, Texas, was vacationing with her parents and her family last seeing her around 2:30 A.M. That's when police say she was walking on the beach alone. And may have fallen into or possibly sat down in a hole dug by another vacationer. We have a policy in ocean city about holes in the sand because of the danger of collapse. So a hole cannot be deeper than knee-deep to the smallest person. Reporter: For roughly nine hours Monday investigators standing waist deep in the sand where o'connor was found searching for clues. Sunbathers just a few feet away. It was shocking seeing all these people moving around and vacationing when there's someone that's deceased right behind us. It's a little unsettling. Reporter:over night the medical examiner confirming to ABC news it was an accident. The cause of death asphyxiation and suffocation. Sand collapse accidents are rare. Researchers say there were 31 incidents of people dying in recreational holes in the sand during a ten-year period worldwide. Again, safety experts say if you or your child are digging a hole at the beach, it should be no deeper than the smallest person's knee and if you do dig a hole make sure you fill it in before you leave the area. Before covering the story I had no idea digging holes at the beach could be so dangerous. And leaving them behind like that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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