Death of Texas woman found buried on Maryland beach ruled accidental

PHOTO: Ocean City Police and a forensics team dig around the area where an unidentified body was found in Ocean City, Md., July 31, 2017.PlayMegan Raymond/Delmarvanow via USA TODAY Network
WATCH Woman found buried in sand on Maryland beach

The mysterious death of a Texas woman whose body was found this week buried on a Maryland beach with just one arm poking through the sand has been ruled an accident, officials said.

A beachgoer in Ocean City discovered the woman's body in a hole, mostly covered by sand, Monday morning and alerted police. The deceased was later identified as 30-year-old Ashley O'Connor of Plano, Texas, who was on vacation with her family at the time of her death, according to Ocean City Police Department spokesperson Lindsay Richard.

O'Connor's family has been notified, Richard said.

Police announced Wednesday that Maryland's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the death accidental, caused by asphyxia due to suffocation.

A preliminary investigation found that O'Connor walked onto the beach alone at approximately 2 a.m. ET Monday. Investigators are still trying to determine whether she fell into the hole or climbed in on her own accord, police said.

A portion of the Ocean City beach was closed Monday as authorities worked to recover the body from the sand. The beach was reopened to the public that day at approximately 5 p.m. ET.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ocean City Police Department major crimes unit at 410-723-6604.

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