Shanquella Robinson’s Death Is Now Being Treated As Homicide

shanquella-robinson-2 - Credit: Shanquella Robinson/Instagram
shanquella-robinson-2 - Credit: Shanquella Robinson/Instagram

The death of Shanquella Robinson, a Charlotte hair braider who died on a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is now being treated as a potential homicide by Mexican authorities, according to a report from the Daily Beast. Earlier today, a spokesperson from confirmed to Rolling Stone that Robinson’s death was under investigation as an “isolated criminal matter.”

According to the Daily Beast, the State Attorney General’s Office for the Baja Sur said the investigation file on Robinson’s death was originally opened as a femicide, but if continued investigation determines Robinson’s death wasn’t motivated by her gender, it will be changed to standard homicide.

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“State Criminal Investigation Agents went to the scene where the initial investigation was carried out under the corresponding protocols,” the office said in a Thursday statement to the Daily Beast. “Experts from the Director of Specialized services carried out the processing of the premises in search of any indications that should be included within the investigation file. The PGJE will maintain the leadership of the investigation in order to collect more evidence and achieve an accurate clarification with the facts, without ruling out any hypothesis.”

A Baja Sur spokesperson did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

Robinson, 25, and her group of friends were staying at Villa Linda 32, a property, when Robinson was allegedly found unresponsive by her friends and eventually declared dead. When asked for comment by Rolling Stone, confirmed that Robinson had died on the property and confirmed the incident has been under investigation as a criminal matter — a new update since both Robinson’s mother Salamondra Robinson and social media users began to call for a larger police investigation into Robinsons’s death.

Rolling Stone reached out to local authorities and did not receive a response.

“According to an investigation conducted by local authorities in Baja California Sur, we are saddened to confirm the death of a traveler who visited the destination,” a spokesperson tells Rolling Stone. “According to the investigation, the victim has been identified as Shanquella Robinson and the incident appears to have impacted private parties traveling together.

“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 spokesperson adds. “Additional information will be made available by local public safety authorities when the investigation is complete.”

After news of Robinson’s death first broke, Queen City News reported that the U.S State Department said there was no clear evidence to suggest Robinson was murdered. When contacted by Rolling Stone, a State Department spokesperson did not comment on whether Robinson’s death involved foul play, but referred Rolling Stone to Mexican authorities.

Robinson’s mother, Salamondra Robinson, has maintained that reports from Robinson’s friends on the Cabo trip were inconsistent with the autopsy. According to Queen City News, authorities listed Robinson’s cause of death as a severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation — indicating a broken neck and cracked spine. Queen City News reports that the death certificate section also included the question “was it accidental or violent?” Authorities wrote “yes,” so it’s uncertain which option they were indicating.

“When the autopsy came back, they said it didn’t have anything to do with the alcohol,” Salamondra told Queen City News. “[They] said that she had a broken neck and her spine in the back was cracked. She had been beaten.”

The development comes as video footage continues to circulate online of a fight between Robinson and an unnamed friend. According to Queen City News, Robinson’s family have identified her in the video as the naked woman being punched and hit — while at least two people can be heard out of frame encouraging “Quella” to fight back. Instead, the woman appears disoriented and is thrown heavily to the floor without any apparent help from onlookers. Several friends who Queen City News confirmed were on the Cabo trip have since removed or privated their social media accounts. None responded to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

“She had a heart of gold. She loved everybody, and pretty much everybody loved her,” Salmondra told Queen City News. “I probably won’t be at ease until someone’s arrested.”

This story has been updated to include that the Mexican authorities are treating the death as a homicide.

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