Vacationing woman dies after she's accidentally buried in sand on beach: cops

The strange death of a woman who drowned in sand along a Maryland beach has been deemed an accident, authorities said.

Ashley O'Connor, 30, was vacationing with her family in Ocean City when she somehow landed in a deep hole, according to police.

Read: Body of College Football Player Who Vanished on Lake Tahoe Recovered One Year Later

A beachgoer found the woman's body submerged in the sand, with only a hand showing, the Ocean City Police Department said in a statement.

O'Connor, who lived in Plano, Texas, was last seen going for a walk on the beach Monday at about 2 a.m., her family said.

RELATED: Symptoms of dry drowning

Symptoms of dry drowning
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Symptoms of dry drowning


"Persistent coughing or coughing associated with increased work of breathing" should be brought to the attention of a medical personnel -- if not immediately -- said

Shallow breathing and trouble breathing

The child will be gasping or coughing for air. He or she may feel like they can't catch their breath

Nausea and/or vomiting 

Vomiting can sometimes be triggered by persistent coughing. It's also a "sign of stress from the body as a result of the inflammation and sometimes a lack of oxygen," said pediatrician Kathleen Berchelmann to

Confusion and exhaustion 

An enhanced state of confusion or exhaustion may be a result of the brain's lack of oxygen. 

Don't just put your child down for a nap -- be wary of these symptoms. 

Chest pain

Chest pain could be associated with extreme coughing or vomiting. 


On Wednesday, police announced the Maryland Chief Medical Examiner's Office concluded the cause of death was accidental asphyxia caused by suffocation.

Read: Experienced 13-Year-Old Swimmer Drowns, Coach Suffers Heart Attack While Giving CPR

A toxicology report is pending, police said.

O'Connor was recently married and had just established a painting business with her wife, Janet, according to a GoFundMe page established to help with funeral costs.

It was not clear how the woman ended up in the hole, or how it came to be filled with sand, police said.

But investigators concluded that the hole was not dug to bury O'Connor in it, the department said.

Watch: Teens Laugh, Watch and Record Man Drowning in Pond

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