Shanquella Robinson in a photo from her Instagram account.
A Charlotte, North Carolina, family is desperate for answers after their daughter, 25-year-old Shanquella Robinson, went on a vacation to San José del Cabo, Mexico, with friends in October and died in a villa they’d rented there.
Shanquella’s family says her friends claim alcohol poisoning was to blame, but that story doesn’t align with the death certificate, which identified severe spinal cord injury and neck trauma.
“They said she wasn’t feeling well. She had alcohol poisoning,” Shanquella’s mother, Salamondra Robinson, told Queen City News in Charlotte. “They couldn’t get a pulse. Each one of the people that was there with her was telling different stories.”
The group had rented a $1,300-a-night, 6,049-square-foot villa from CaboVillas.com that was described as offering “luxury, tranquility and marvelous ocean views.”
The mystery deepened when Gerald Jackson, who runs a North Carolina blog, published a graphic cellphone video that purports to show Robinson being violently attacked by another member of the group.
At one point in the video, an unidentified man can be heard saying, “Quella, can you at least fight back? At least something?” The woman replies, “No.”
Jackson says he published the video with the permission of her family. In light of the clip, the FBI has asked for “anyone with related photos or video” to contact the agency.
A copy of the death certificate obtained by CBS17 says Robinson was “found unconscious in her living room.”
Under a section of the document that asks, “Was it accidental or violent?” authorities wrote, confusingly, “Yes.”
The death is now officially being investigated as femicide, a gender-based killing, the Baja California Sur Attorney General’s Office told ABC News on Thursday.
CaboVillas.com, the company on the southern tip of Baja California that rented the villa to the group, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost but told Rolling Stone that it is working with authorities to help investigate what it called an “isolated criminal matter” involving “private parties traveling together.”
“It’s like a nightmare,” Robinson’s father, Bernard Robinson, told Raleigh’s WRAL. “I can’t even sleep. I am just frustrated, my heart is just aching as a father, you know, a praying man. I just want some truth because this doesn’t even add up right.”