Answers Died With Woman Buried Alive at Beach: Cops

Police end investigation into death of Ashley O'Connor
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2017 12:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Without discovering a satisfactory explanation for her death, police have closed the investigation into a woman who suffocated beneath the sand of a Maryland beach, WTOP reports. "How the hole collapsed, she unfortunately is the only person that will know," Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro says. Ashley O'Connor of Texas was vacationing in Ocean City with her family when she went for a walk on the beach alone around 2am July 31. The 30-year-old's body was found more than four hours later when a passerby noticed her hand sticking out of the sand. A medical examiner said O'Connor died from asphyxia due to suffocation, and her death was ruled accidental with no possibility of foul play, according to WBAL.

Police believe O'Connor climbed into the 3.5-foot-deep hole in the sand on her own for an unknown reason. She had been drinking and was found to have a BAC more than the legal limit for driving. It's unclear who made the hole or why it collapsed. O'Connor, who was found in a sitting position at the bottom of the hole, may have caused the collapse herself when she climbed in, or tractors in the area may have caused it. But WJLA reports a tractor driver told police he hadn't seen a hole in that area of the beach, and it may have already collapsed. (Read more buried alive stories.)

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