Woman drowns in sand after taking solo walk on beach

Ashley O'Connor, 30, was vacationing with her family


The strange death of a woman who drowned in sand along a Maryland beach was 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.

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.

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

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.

Investigators concluded that the hole was not dug to bury O’Connor in it, the department said.