crime

What We Know About the Death of Shanquella Robinson

Photo: WCNC Charlotte via NBC News

On October 28, Shanquella Robinson, a 25-year-old woman from Charlotte, North Carolina, arrived in the town of San José del Cabo, a resort city on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, with six friends. The next day, she was found dead in the rental property where they were staying. Although Robinson’s friends told her mother that she’d died of alcohol poisoning, her death certificate recorded that the cause was a spinal cord and neck injury. Calls for authorities to investigate Robinson’s death grew after a video showing one of her friends physically assaulting her went viral. The FBI is now investigating Robinson’s death together with Mexican authorities, who issued an arrest warrant for and are seeking to extradite one of Robinson’s friends on the trip.

Here is everything we know about the case so far.

Robinson last spoke with her mother a day before her death.

Robinson’s mother told CNN that she’d talked to her daughter on the morning of October 28. “When I spoke with her, she seemed to be pretty happy. She was laughing,” she said. “She seemed very happy on that trip … I said, ‘Okay, enjoy yourself. Love you. I will talk to you tomorrow.’ And I never spoke with her again.”

Robinson graduated from West Charlotte High School and attended Winston-Salem State University, where she met some of the friends who were on the trip with her. Her father told the New York Times that she ran her own business braiding children’s hair.

After Robinson was found dead in the living room of the vacation rental where she and her friends were staying, her friends returned home. Her father told the Times that he did not understand why they were allowed to leave Mexico.

A video shows Robinson being beaten by one of her friends.

A video has made the rounds online in recent weeks that shows someone physically beating Robinson. The person can be seen throwing her to the ground and kicking and punching her all over her body and head. A man standing nearby can be heard saying, “Quella, can you at least fight back?” Robinson’s father confirmed to the Times that it was his daughter being beaten in the video, saying, “She’s not a fighter. She didn’t believe in drama.” It is not known when the video was taken.

Robinson’s death certificate raised more suspicion about the circumstances of her death.

Robinson’s friends told her mother that she had died of alcohol poisoning, but her death certificate suggested otherwise. Per the Times, it shows that Robinson was found unconscious in the living room in San José del Cabo and that she’d died about 15 minutes after she was injured. The certificate had no mention of alcohol poisoning.

According to a police report, Robinson’s friends called a doctor but didn’t want her to be taken to a hospital for treatment.

According to the Charlotte Observer, a police report shows that a doctor saw Robinson after someone called for medical help at the vacation home on the afternoon of October 29. The doctor found Robinson with stable vital signs, but she was dehydrated and unable to communicate. The doctor was told that Robinson had “drunk a lot of alcohol.”

According to the police report, while the doctor wanted to take Robinson to the hospital, her friends insisted that she be treated at the vacation home. The doctor tried to give her an intravenous line before she began to have a seizure. At that point, one of Robinson’s friends called for an ambulance, per the Observer.

At 4:49 p.m., when the doctor detected no pulse, she and one of Robinson’s friends began giving her CPR. Paramedics administered more rounds of CPR and adrenaline and discharges from a defibrillator. Robinson was pronounced dead at 5:57 p.m.

An arrest warrant has been issued for one of Robinson’s friends.

Daniel de la Rosa, the attorney general for Baja California Sur, told reporters that Robinson’s death resulted from “direct aggression” and that an arrest warrant for the crime of femicide — the killing of a woman because of her gender — has been issued. De la Rosa believes that a friend of Robinson’s is responsible for her death.

Neither Mexican nor U.S. authorities have identified the suspect, but they have confirmed that she is a U.S. citizen currently in the U.S. Although no one has been charged in the case and authorities have not released the names of Robinson’s friends, according to CNN, the FBI Charlotte Field Office has opened an investigation into Robinson’s death. Mexican prosecutors said that they are consulting with federal government officials in both countries about an extradition request. “We are already carrying out all the relevant procedures, both the Interpol file and the extradition request,” de la Rosa said.

What We Know About the Death of Shanquella Robinson