Robinson’s family has called for “Justice for Quella” and has spoken out about the case. A video appearing to show the 25-year-old Robinson being beaten by another woman in their hotel room went viral.
Robinson left for the trip with a group of friends on October 28, 2022, and was found dead a day later, her family said on social media. According to WBTV, the FBI said it is aware of the video and asked “anyone with related photos or video to contact the FBI.” Robinson’s family contacted the FBI’s Charlotte office for assistance in the investigation.
According to Rolling Stone, police in Cabo are investigating Robinson’s death as an “isolated criminal matter.” The U.S. State Department said in a statement, “We are aware of these reports. Protecting the welfare of U.S. citizens overseas is among our top priorities. Out of respect for the privacy of those involved, we have no further comment at this time.”
Robinson’s parents told WBTV their daughter’s friends first said she died of alcohol poisoning after not feeling well. But the autopsy report showed a different cause of death for Robinson. “After they said it was alcohol poisoning, we received the autopsy report on Thursday and it said that her neck had been broken and she had a back spasm there was a crack, spinal cord was crack,” her parents told the news station. “That took it to a whole ‘nother level because that meant somebody had attacked her.”
Here’s what you need to know about Shanquella Robinson and the investigation into her death in Mexico:
1. The Video Shows Shanquella Robinson Being Struck by Another Woman in a Hotel Room as a Man Says ‘Quella, Can You at Least Fight Back?’
According to Robinson’s family, she went on the trip to Mexico with a group of friends to celebrate a birthday. The video was recorded at a villa the group rented, according to WBTV. The video shows a woman punching Robinson, who is naked, in the head repeatedly, before Robinson falls to the ground. The woman can be seen kicking Robinson.
A man could be heard in the video saying, “Quella, can you at least fight back? At least something.” Robinson can be seen sitting on the ground near a bed as the other woman continues to hit her in the face. The woman then knees Robinson in the head before swinging several punches at her head as someone tells Robinson to “get up.”
It was not immediately clear what led up to the attack on Robinson or what happened after the 20-second video clip ended. Robinson can be seen slumped on the ground as the video ends. According to Queen City News, Robinson was traveling with six friends. They arrived on Friday and a private chef cooked them dinner, according to her family.
“She told me they had a chef. They were getting ready to eat. They were eating tacos or a salad or something, and I said, ‘OK. I love you. Have a good night, and I will talk to you tomorrow.’ I never talked to my child again. She never made it back home,” Salamondra Robinson told the news station.
The video of the incident in the villa was sent to The North Carolina Beat’s Gerald Jackson. He wrote on his news site that her family gave him permission to share the video. Robinson’s father told Jackson, “How could they do this to my baby. They all need to be in jail right now in Mexico and they shouldn’t have been let go.”
2. An Autopsy Found Shanquella Robinson’s Cause of Death Was ‘a Severe Spinal Cord Injury & Atlas Luxation’
Salamondra Robinson, her mother, told WBTV she, “spoke with her Friday evening she was having dinner and I never spoke with her again. On Saturday evening, they called and said she wasn’t feeling well, and they were going to call a doctor. And when they called, the doctor hadn’t arrived yet, but they said she had alcohol poisoning.”
She told Queen City News, “They said she wasn’t feeling well. She had alcohol poisoning. They couldn’t get a pulse. Each one of the people that was there with her was telling different stories.”
The autopsy found Robinson died of “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” the news station reports. Salamondra Robinson told Queen City News, “When the autopsy came back, they said it didn’t have anything to do with the alcohol. (They) said that she had a broken neck and her spine in the back was cracked. She had been beaten.”
The State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) told The Daily Beast on November 17 that Robinson died at about 6:15 p.m. on October 29 and added in a statement:
State Criminal Investigation Agents went to the scene where the initial investigation was carried out under the corresponding protocols. 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.
According to Queen City News, the death certificate mentioned Robinson had been “found unconscious” in the living room of the villa, and a doctor attempted to revive her with CPR, but was unable to. The autopsy doesn’t mention alcohol poisoning or intoxication, the news station reports.
According to Rolling Stone, the group was staying at Villa Linda 32, owned by Cabovillas.com. The company told Rolling Stone, “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. According to the investigation, the victim has been identified as Shanquella Robinson and the incident appears to have impacted private parties traveling together.”
The company added, “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. Additional information will be made available by local public safety authorities when the investigation is complete.”
3. Robinson Ran a Hair-Braiding Business & Studied at Winston-Salem State University
According to her Instagram, Robinson ran a hair-braiding business for children, called The Exquisite Kids, and also a women’s boutique called The Exquisite Boutique.
On Facebook, Robinson said she studied at Winston-Sale State University and attended West Charlotte High School. On her Instagram, she posted photos showing her traveling and wrote in the caption of one photo, “No effort just living freely 🌴.”
Robinson’s sister, Quilla Long, wrote on Facebook, “Even in death she putting pressure on them… watch how she bring the city out.”
4. Robinson’s Mother Says She ‘Had a Heart of Gold’
Robinson’s mother told Queen City News, “She had a heart of gold. She loved everybody, and pretty much everybody loved her.” Robinson’s family said they paid $6,000 to have her body flown back to North Carolina on November 10 and a funeral is planned for November 19.
Her father, Bernard Robinson, told WBTV, “All I’ve been doing is just crying trying to figure out what happened. I can’t even be a grandfather, can’t even walk her down the aisle, she’s gone.”
Robinson’s sister wrote on a GoFundMe campaign, “My name is Tequila Long, the sister of Shanquella Robinson. My beautiful sister #ShanquellaRobinson, recently went on a trip to Cabo, Mexico, with people she believed were her friends. During this trip, she was found dead. Her associates claimed she died of alcohol poisoning, but the death certificate from the Mexican government contradicts this statement as it reveals a broken neck and cracked spine and a time of death which is 15 minutes after she sustained these injuries.”
She added, “The United States State Department released a statement claiming ‘no clear evidence of foul play,’ yet there is a video circulating of a woman violently attacking Shanquella. This statement is unacceptable, and we are beyond devastated. We continue to fight for the truth. We face a tremendous unexpected financial burden and a great deal of pain as we prepare to lay my sister to rest. Any support you can contribute to these expenses is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for all of your support.”
5. A Friend Who Says He Arrived a Day After Robinson’s Death Says the Others on the Trip Told Him ‘Quella Was Sick’
The six friends who went on the trip with Robinson have been identified on social media and have been facing scrutiny from social media users after the video went viral and questions about her death spread.
One friend, Nazeer Wiggins, posted a video online in an effort to clear his name, according to The Neighborhood Talk, which reposted the video on Instagram.
Wiggins said in the video he didn’t know about the attack in the hotel room. He said he arrived in Cabo a day after and his friends told him “that Quella was sick and she was showing signs of alcohol poisoning.”