The case of a North Carolina woman's death at a Mexican resort, which had initially been determined as the result of alcohol poisoning, has a new twist this week after a video emerged of the same woman allegedly being assaulted on the trip.
And now, law enforcement authorities are reportedly leaning to characterizing the woman's death as a violent crime — perhaps involving members of her traveling party.
Shanquella Robinson, 25, of Charlotte, North Carolina, traveled to the Mexican resort of San José del Cabo with six friends on Oct. 28. According to WBTV-TV, the party stayed at the posh Fundadores Beach Club.
Just one day later, Robinson was reportedly found dead at Villa Linda 32, a rental offered by CaboVillas.com. From there, local authorities launched a criminal investigation.
"[Shanquella's friends] said she wasn't feeling well, that it was alcohol poisoning," Robinson's mom, Sallamondra Robinson, told WSOC-TV.
The station noted, however, that alcohol wasn't mentioned in the police report.
Instead, the death certificate revealed the cause of death to be a "severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation" — or an instability of the first two neck vertebrae, according to WSOC-TV.
Also, the death certificate reportedly listed the time between injury and death — roughly 15 minutes separation — and noted that Shanquella was found unconscious in the living room.
As for the video, the footage allegedly depicts Shanquella Robinson being beaten inside a resort hotel room. In an audio bit, an unknown person can apparently be heard asking if Robinson could "at least fight back."
When given a chance to view the unverified footage, Robinson's mother told WSOC-TV that she recognized the people in the room with her daughter — the same members of her traveling party.
"It was never a fight. She didn't fight, they attacked her," Sallamondra Robinson told WSOC-TV.
After an autopsy had been performed on Robinson, the State Attorney General's Office of Baja California Sur confirmed the "investigation was initiated for femicide," according to ABC News.
The classification of femicide involves a hate crime directed toward a girl or woman due to her gender.
None of the reporting TV stations have yet to identify any other members of Robinson's traveling party.
Shanquella's father, Bernard Robinson, spoke to WSOC-TV following the state attorney general's update.
"It’s like a nightmare. I can't even sleep," he said. "I just want some truth, because this doesn't add up right.
"By the grace of God, I think I am going to get to the bottom of this. God ain't going to fail. It's going to come out. I'm not giving up. I am very confident that I am going to have peace of mind."
Sallamondra Robinson told WNCT-TV that Shanquella's traveling party went to Mexico to celebrate someone's birthday.
"I looked at some of her posts that she had put up," Sallamondra told WSOC. "She was really having a nice time, and I don’t know where it went wrong from there."
Sallamondra then recalled: "[Shanquella] 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.'"
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