Shanquella Robinson's family says it's 'discouraging' that US prosecutors declined to pursue charges in her death and claims a 'delay' hurt the probe. Here are key details from the case.

Shanquella Robinson's family says it's 'discouraging' that US prosecutors declined to pursue charges in her death and claims a 'delay' hurt the probe. Here are key details from the case.
Shanquella Robinson, 25, was found dead in Mexico last month. Her family is demanding answers.Screenshot/ GoFundMe
  • US officials declined to pursue charges in the case of a 25-year-old woman who died in Mexico in 2022.
  • Her friends reportedly blamed alcohol poisoning, but an autopsy revealed that she had trauma to her neck and spine.

It's been months since 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson died during a group trip to San José del Cabo, Mexico last year, less than 24 hours after she arrived.

Earlier this week, US officials declined to pursue charges in the case of her death following a "detailed and thorough investigation," prosecutors.

"As in every case under consideration for federal prosecution, the government must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a federal crime was committed," the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced on Wednesday. "Based on the results of the autopsy and after a careful deliberation and review of the investigative materials by both US Attorneys' Offices, federal prosecutors informed Ms. Robinson's family today that the available evidence does not support a federal prosecution."

Prosecutors also noted that they worked with the family to conduct an autopsy in the states by the medical examiner's office in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The autopsy done by county officials contradicted Mexican authorities' report, revealing that her spine was intact and that her cause of death was "undetermined," WBTV reported.

The family representation, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, and attorney Sue-Ann Robinson called the decision "discouraging," and noted that the "discrepancies can be credited to the delay in investigation by U.S. officials," according to a statement sent to Insider.


However, they hope to receive justice in Mexico.

"Mexican prosecutors have issued arrest warrants in this case and are willing to pursue charges," the statement continued. "We strongly encourage The United States to move forward with the extradition of those responsible for her death to Mexico to face accountability there."

Family attorneys blasted the FBI for the delay in Shanquella's case

Both attorneys Crump and Robinson — who is not related to the family — have previously called out authorities for their response in her case in comparison to the efforts put behind the four Americans who were kidnapped in Mexico in March.

"There seems to be no activity on behalf of Shanquella," Crump told Yahoo News last month.

In addition, they also called for diplomatic intervention by President Biden and the US Department of State, as Insider previously reported.


"My clients recognize that the U.S. government has many priorities and responsibilities, but believe that intervening, in this case, would not only serve the interests of justice, but also send a clear message that transnational criminal activities will not be tolerated," a letter sent to White House officials said, per ABC News.

Mexican prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant in connection to Shanquella's death

In November 2022, prosecutors said the warrant was for one of Robinson's friends, but the person has not been identified, according to WBTV. In addition, officials clarified that Robinson died as a result of a "direct attack, not from an accident," per the report.

According to NBC News, prosecutors said they were looking to extradite the suspect to face the charges in Mexico. They added that Robinson's death is being investigated as "potential homicide."

Robinson's friends blamed the death on alcohol poisoning, her mother said

Robinson, the owner of hair braiding business Exquisite Babies, traveled to Mexico with her friends for a birthday celebration in late October 2022. During the vacation, the group reportedly stayed in a luxury villa they booked through

Local news reported that Robinson's friends called her mother, Salamondra Robinson, and informed her that something had happened to her daughter.


"They said she wasn't feeling well. She had alcohol poisoning," Salamondra Robinson told WJZY. "They couldn't get a pulse. Each one of the people that was there with her was telling different stories."

A post shared by Shanquella Robinson (@its.quella_)

But an autopsy later revealed that Robinson's spine was cracked and she had a broken neck. The group of friends traveled back to the US, while Robinson's body was held there for about two weeks, according to the report.

A Cabo Villas representative told Insider they are "saddened" about the incident and said they're working with local authorities.

"The team at Cabo Villas has been in full cooperation with local emergency and public safety authorities regarding the incident from the initial contact for assistance onward," the representative said. "We are working diligently to determine the facts surrounding this incident, which is currently being investigated as an isolated criminal matter that happened involving guests at a private villa located in Los Cabos."

The FBI announced last year that they were investigating the case

The FBI's Charlotte division said in November 2022 they launched an investigation into the matter.


"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," a spokesperson told Insider at the time. "Due to the ongoing investigation, we have no further comment."

A US State Department spokesperson told Insider at the time that when a US citizen dies overseas, they "provide all appropriate consular assistance to the family," adding that they have no other comment at the time.

Robinson's father confirmed that his daughter is in a widely circulated video

Gerald Jackson, a local blogger who runs The North Carolina Beat, released a graphic video of a woman attacking an unclothed woman. Robinson's father, Bernard Robinson, confirmed to The Daily Beast that his daughter is the woman being attacked in the 18-second video that has gone viral.

In the video, a person could be heard saying, "Quella, can you at least fight back?" The video set social media ablaze, with thousands calling for justice for the Robinson family. Even celebrities weighed in.

"They attacked her," Bernard Robinson told TMZ in November. "They put a hole in my heart. That was my only child. I'm heartbroken. I can't even be a granddaddy. I can't walk her down the aisle. I can't hear her voice."


He continued, "They left her in that house. They left her there for the maid to find her. Do you know how much pain my daughter suffered?...I just want justice."

WSOC-TV reported that the State Attorney General's Office of Baja California said there's an ongoing investigation and that they are collecting evidence related to the case.

Robinson's funeral was held in North Carolina

The Robinson family created a GoFundMe in November 2022, which has nearly reached its goal of $400,000 raising more than $400,000 as of April 15. Kyrie Irving previously donated $65,000 to the fundraiser.

"We face a tremendous unexpected financial burden and a great deal of pain as we prepare to lay my sister to rest," Robinson's sister, Quilla Long, wrote in the description.

Robinson's funeral was held in Charlotte, and hundreds of people were in attendance to pay their respects, according to reports.