Mexican authorities are now investigating the death of a North Carolina woman who had been believed to have died of alcohol poisoning while vacationing in Mexico as a homicide after a video emerged on social media showing her being beaten.
Shanquella Robinson, 25, was found dead in the city of San José del Cabo on October 29th after traveling to the resort area with six friends the day before, and Mexican authorities say that her cause of death was a severe spinal cord injury. A homicide investigation has been launched, WBTV reported on Thursday.
Robinson’s family was initially told by Robinson’s friends that she had gotten sick with alcohol poisoning while on a trip with friends at the Fundadores Beach Club.
“They said she wasn’t feeling well, that it was alcohol poisoning,” Robinson’s mother, Sallamondra Robinson, told the outlet about the frantic calls she received from her daughter’s friends.
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WBTV reported that the death certificate painted a different picture and described the cause of death as being the result of “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation” along with instability of the first two neck vertebrae.
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Alcohol was not mentioned in the death certificate that was obtained by the outlet.
The certificate adds that the approximate time between injury and death was 15 minutes, and a box that asks whether the death was “accidental or violent” is marked with “Yes,” WSOC-TV reported.
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A video circulating on social media appears to show a woman attacking Robinson, and WSOC-TV reported that Robinson’s mother identified the people in the video as her daughter’s friends.
“Quella, can you at least fight back?” A man can be heard saying in the background while another woman can be seen beating an undressed Robinson.
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“Get up bro, get up,” the woman says as Robinson sits on the ground.
It is unclear where or when the video was recorded.
“It was never a fight. She didn’t fight, they attacked her,” Sallamondra Robinson said.
“The FBI Charlotte Field Office has opened an investigation in the death of Charlotte resident, Shanquella Robinson in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on or about October 29, 2022,” the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office told WHD News Digital in a statement. “Due to the ongoing investigation, we have no further comment.”