Woman Found Dead On Maryland Beach Suffocated — Possibly Run Over By Tractor Cleaning Sand?

A 30-year-old woman vacationing at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, was found dead in a hole in the sand with only her arm and hand exposed. She was discovered at about 6:30 a.m. Monday by early morning walkers along the beach, who notified the workers cleaning the area and they called the police.

The woman was identified as Ashley O’Connor, who was vacationing at the beach in Ocean City with her family from Plano, Texas. The scene around her body was the site of an investigation all day on Monday and her body wasn’t moved until about 4:30 in the afternoon.

One of the more startling things to come out of this story was how the beachgoers went about their vacationing activities just a few feet away from where the body lay in the sand. The fact that there was a dead body of a woman nearby did disturb some of the beachgoers, one spoke with a reporter and was shocked at how desensitized people have become, according to CBS News.

She conveyed how she found it disturbing to see all the activity around the woman’s temporary grave in the sand as law enforcement agencies diligently worked the scene. The body was finally moved by the medical examiner’s staff.

The preliminary investigation suggests that there was no foul play in the woman’s death, which has been ruled an accident. Her cause of death is officially listed as “asphyxia due to suffocation.” The body of O’Connor was buried in the sand, with just an arm and hand exposed when the beachgoers made the discovery. Police are investigating just how the body became buried in the beach sand.

O’Connor went for a walk along the beach alone at about 2 a.m. on Monday morning and it was about 4 hours later when her body was discovered in that hole in the sand. One working theory as to how O’Connor died has been revealed.

According to NBC News, “one possibility” they are looking into is that O’Connor could have fallen asleep on the beach or was “unconscious” for some reason and was accidentally run over by the beach tractor cleaning the sand. The tractor combs over the beach sand every night, raking up the debris left over from the beachgoers that day.

This theory would explain how O’Connor’s body was basically buried when first discovered. This would also explain how she suffocated, but it is just a working theory right now and nothing more. O’Connor became separated from her mother and step father at about 2 a.m. Monday morning and was last seen walking on the beach alone. The mother and stepfather had alerted the police that she was missing, according to NBC.

[Featured Image by Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock]