Ocean City Today

Investigation into O’Connor death on beach continues

By Katie Tabeling | Aug 10, 2017
Courtesy of: Facebook Ashley O'Connor

(Aug. 11, 2017) Ocean City Police are still investigating the bizarre nature of Ashley O’Connor’s death, but officials say there’s a strong possibility that the sand caved in on her when she was in a hole on the beach on July 31.

“We don’t know who dug the hole, and that’s something we might never know, but it’s very likely that the sand covered her when she was in the hole,” Police Public Affairs Specialist Lindsay Richard said. “It was a pretty sizable hole, although we don’t have exact measurements.”

O’Connor, 30, of Plano, Texas died of suffocation sometime overnight on July 31. Her body was found early that morning near Second Street after a citizen walking on the beach spotted a forearm and a bit of hair sticking out of the sand. The citizen reported it to a city employee, who called police.

O’Connor was found in a hole about 30 yards away from the high-tide line. The body had no visible injuries and was intact when investigators excavated it.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled O’Connor’s death accidental last week.

Richard said that Ocean City Police are considering all possibilities, including that a beach sweeper, vehicles that collect trash on the sand, had buried her.

“It’s a possibility that it could have happened, but we still haven’t made any determinations,” she said.

Beach sweepers clean the sand nightly, starting around 11 p.m. and finishing around 7 a.m. O’Connor was last seen going for a walk on the beach near Second Street around 2 a.m. by her parents.

It is undetermined whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the death, as Ocean City Police is waiting on toxicology reports. Richard could not comment whether O’Connor was laying or standing in the hole, as the body’s position is considered part of the ongoing investigation.

According to Facebook posts, O’Connor was visiting the resort with her parents after attending a family wedding in Maryland. O’Connor was recently married and was planning to start a painting business with her wife, according to social media posts.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched in O’Connor’s memory last week. The campaign’s goal of $5,000 will be donated to her wife to help with “her daily expenses and to help ease the burden of life without Ashley,” according to the GoFundMe page.

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