OCEAN CITY, Md. - An investigation that gained national attention is over. Investigators and public officials gathered in Ocean City Thursday to reveal new details about a woman's death.
It's a case that started on July 31st when 30-year-old Ashley O'Connor of Texas was found buried in the sand, but we have yet to get an explanation for how it all happened.
A death that for the most part remains a mystery. After almost a month long investigation, Ocean City police still don't know exactly what happened to Ashley O'Connor.
OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro says, "We'll truly never have answered the question of how Ashley died and what we believe occurred is that there was a collapse to the hole that she was in how the hole collapsed she unfortunately is the only person that will know."
On July 31st at around 6:30 a.m. 30-year-old Ashley O'Connor, who was vacationing in Ocean City from Plano, Texas, was found almost two feet under the sand.
Investigators spent the next 12 hours or so sifting through the sand hoping to find any evidence that would help them determine what happened to O'Connor.
Almost a month later police have ruled her death accidental from suffocation, with no indication of foul play. Although, what caused the collapse is still only at best a guess.
"One is she could have upon entering the hole could have collapsed while in the hole there could have been a collapse as well as for us we had tractors in the area that could have contributed to the hole in its collapse," expresses Chief Buzzuro.
What police do know is alcohol was found in her system and they believe it could have played a role. They say her blood alcohol level was higher than the legal limit yet they still can't be certain.
Town officials say this life lost too soon highlights the dangers that come with the beach.
"People do not equate the weight of sand. In simple terms a five gallon bucket of sand weighs 62 pounds. That's not a lot of sand for a small child to be covered up. With how this happened, why this happened we will never know," says Joe Theobald, OC Director for Emergency Management.
The town is hoping this tragedy reminds visitors how important it is to not just fill in the beach holes after digging them, but also staying clear of the beaches during the early morning hours.
We also are learning more about Ashley O'Connor. Through various social media platforms we not only found images and messages from friends but we got a chance to discover more about the woman who called Texas home.
O'Connor is being remembered as a "great friend" who was "talented". In recent posts on Facebook, she attempted to sell her stencil art.
O'Connor also plead with followers to buy a new book she released on Amazon called "Definite Purpose". The 30-year-old leaves behind a wife, Janet, who we've attempted to reach multiple times.
A go-fund-me page has been established to help Janet with her "daily expenses and to help ease the burden of life without Ashley."
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