UPDATED | August 2, 2017 10PM

OCEAN CITY, Md. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Police said on Wednesday a Plano woman who was found buried in sand on a Maryland beach died accidentally.

Citing a ruling from the state’s Office of the Chief Medical examiner, Ocean City police said in a statement that Ashley O’Connor, 30, suffocated.

Beachgoers discovered her body Monday morning.

Police say O’Connor was separated from her family about 2 a.m. Monday and walked onto the beach alone. She was later found in a hole covered by sand, where only her arm was visible above it, according to Richard.

It’s not clear whether she fell into the hole or climbed in on her own, according to police. Also, Richard didn’t know the exact depth of the hole, but said it was significant.

“It wasn’t her time to go,” said Heather Gantt, a close friend. “She was only 30-years-old.”

Gantt and Abby Rather still can’t grasp what happened and why.

“It’s just scary thinking of how she must have felt if she even got a chance to feel what was happening to her,” said Rather.

Ashley O’Connor (photo courtesy of: Facebook)

Friends and family remember the blue-eyed blonde as full of life; not only a generous friend, but a gifted artist.

“She wasn’t just buried in a hole,” said Gantt. “She was an inspiring artist. She was a great friend. She was a good person. She had a huge heart.”

Gantt and Rather said they met O’Connor shortly after she moved to Plano.

“She was so good to us and we miss her a lot,” said Gantt.

O’Connor’s death just isn’t fair to those who loved her.

“It’s so confusing because, when, why does that happen?” questioned Rather. “None of it makes sense.”

Both Gantt and Rather said O’Connor’s death has made them realize how fragile life and how fortunate they were to have met her.

“She’s resting easy. She’s up there painting the sky, that’s for sure because she’s an artist and that’s what she’s doing,” said Gantt. “Painting the sky right now and she’ll never be forgotten.”
Friends said most of O’Connor’s family is in Maryland.

Funeral plans were not yet public at the time of this report.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)