Body of Plano vacationer found buried in Maryland beach

SALISBURY, Md. — Early morning beachgoers found the body of a Texas vacationer in a hole in the sand on the Ocean City, Md., beach Monday morning, authorities said.

Ocean City police were alerted at about 6:30 a.m. ET Monday when beachgoers found a body near Second Street and told town employees, Ocean City Communications Manager Jessica Waters confirmed.

The deceased was identified as Ashley O'Connor, 30, of Plano, Texas, Waters said Monday afternoon. O'Connor was vacationing in the resort town with her parents, Waters said.

Waters said O'Connor's death appeared to be accidental, but police have not ruled out anything.

The Ocean City Police Forensics Services Unit recovered the body from the sand with assistance from Maryland State Police crime scene technicians, Ocean City officials said.

"The victim was in a hole on the beach," Waters said.

The body was removed at about 4:15 p.m. and will be evaluated by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who will determine a cause and manner of death.

Law enforcement officers remained at the scene for several hours gathering evidence before clearing the scene, Waters said.

For much of the day, a large section of the beach was roped off with crime scene tape, black plastic barriers and trash barrels, while the site where the body was found remained under investigation. Many pieces of beach sweeping equipment stood inactive nearby.

Near the location of the body, investigators were up to their waists in sand.

Waters said the beach-sweeping equipment was brought in to help shield the scene from onlookers.

Beachgoers continued their regular activities. Although some stopped to watch the spectacle, most seemed unaffected by the grim activity going on around them.

Vacationers Karen and Matthew Lavery of Morgantown, W.Va., were staying at a nearby hotel and saw the police activity Monday morning.

While they decided not to check out the scene themselves, they heard rumors about what happen throughout the day.

Once the site was cleared, they headed to the beach.

"It wasn't going to keep us off the beach all day, not when we're only here for a few days," said Karen Lavery.

Tara and Kenny Spratt had also heard rumors about what happened at the beach. The New York coupled hoped a least with Monday's discovery, that a family would have some piece of mind about their loved one.

"It's very sad, but maybe some good can come from it," said Tara Spratt. "At least the family can have some closures."

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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