Maryland police are investigating the death of a Texas vacationer who was found dead in a hole on an Ocean City beach with just one arm showing through the sand, authorities said.
Ocean City police arrived at the beach at around 6:30 a.m. on Monday to find Ashley O’Connor, 30, dead in the sand, officials announced in a statement. The body was removed at around 4:15 p.m. and a medical examiner will determine a cause of death.
The medical examiner told ABC News that O’Connor died of asphyxiation and suffocation, noting that the death was likely an accident as a result of O’Connor falling in or voluntarily sitting in the beach hole.
However, Ocean City Communications Manager Jessica Waters said foul play has not been ruled out, the Associated Press reports.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The police call of the incident detailed the gruesome discovery.
“My beach operator is telling me that all they can see is an arm sticking out of the sand,” a beach patrol officer is heard saying in the call obtained by ABC.
O’Connor, an artist from Plano, was vacationing with her family, who said they last saw her on Monday at around 2:30 a.m., ABC reports. Police said she was walking on the beach and possibly fell into the hole dug by another beachgoer.
Investigators stood waist-deep in the hole, digging for clues for several hours after discovering the body.
The investigation is ongoing.