Shanquella Robinson death: US citizen charged with killing North Carolina woman while vacationing in Mexico


Shanquella Robinson arrived in the picturesque Mexican town of San José del Cabo on October 28 with six of her friends.

A day later, the 25-year-old Winston-Salem State University student in North Carolina died while staying at a luxury rental property in Baja California Sur.

Now, nearly a month after the death, the FBI is investigating and Mexican prosecutors are seeking to extradite one of Robinson’s friends as a suspect in the case.

Here’s what we know about a case that started gaining attention after a viral video emerged showing another woman beating Robinson as someone else recorded the assault.

Robinson last spoke with his mother the day before he died

Robinson traveled to Mexico on vacation with her college friends from Winston-Salem State University, according to her father, Bernard Robinson.

She last spoke to her mother, Salamondra, on the phone on the morning of October 28, according to her father.

Robinson was found dead in the living room of her vacation rental the next day, US and Mexican authorities said.

The autopsy deepens the mystery of his death

Robinson’s cause of death was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas dislocation,” which is instability or excessive movement of the upper vertebrae in the neck, according to a copy of his death certificate obtained by the CNN WBTV affiliate.

The death certificate classified Robinson’s death as “accidental or violent”, noting that the approximate time between injury and death was 15 minutes.

Viral video shows Robinson beaten

After Robinson’s death, his six friends returned to the United States.

Video circulating online in recent weeks appears to show a physical altercation inside a room between Robinson and another person.

It is unclear when the video was taken or if it depicts the moment she suffered the fatal injury.

This is Robinson seen in the video being thrown to the ground and punched in the head, Bernard Robinson confirmed to CNN.

Death resulted from ‘direct attack’

Mexican prosecutors said last week that an arrest warrant had been issued for a woman suspected of fatally assaulting Robinson.

Prosecutors said they were working on extradition proceedings with Mexico’s attorney general and the Foreign Ministry.

Evidence showed the death resulted from “a direct attack, not an accident” and involved a friend of the victim, prosecutors said.

Mexican authorities said the death occurred in San José del Cabo. The FBI said it happened in nearby Cabo San Lucas, and the agency did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The suspect has not been publicly identified

Mexican officials did not name the suspect but confirmed she was a US citizen believed to be in the United States.

No one has been charged in the case and authorities have not released the names of Robinson’s friends.

CNN has contacted the US State Department, FBI and US Department of Justice for comment.

The FBI field office in Charlotte said it has opened an investigation into Robinson’s death.

Mexican prosecutor says extradition process underway

The death was not the result of a “quarrel” but of “a direct assault that this person committed,” Baja California Sur Attorney General Daniel de la Rosa told local media last week.

The suspect’s extradition procedure was underway, according to the prosecutor.

“There is already an arrest warrant issued for the crime of femicide,” or the murder of a woman because of her gender, de la Rosa said, adding that “a friend” of the victim is believed to be responsible for the death. .

The arrest warrant is valid in Mexico, prosecutors said, and they are consulting with federal government officials from both countries about the extradition request.

“We are already carrying out all the relevant procedures, both the Interpol file and the extradition request,” de la Rosa said.

The suspect could be prosecuted in the United States or Mexico

Mexico and the United States have a long-standing extradition treaty and a history of cooperation on these issues, according to CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson.

“On the one hand, you might see Mexico sue,” Jackson said. “On the other hand, we certainly have a law in the United States that provides for the involvement of our government. In the event that you go overseas and an American citizen is ultimately killed by another American citizen, it there is a law that could provide for the prosecution to take place in this country.”

Robinson’s family, meanwhile, are awaiting more information from authorities and their daughter’s friends.

“You took my only jewel,” said Bernard Robinson. “You put a big hole in my heart. The only thing I can do is fight for her. I can’t let her die in vain.”

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