Mexican authorities have issued an arrest warrant for one of the “friends” of Shanquella Robinson, the 25-year-old businesswoman from Charlotte, North Carolina, who died under suspicious circumstances on Oct. 29, one day after arriving with six others in San José del Cabo for a luxury vacation.
Daniel de la Rosa Anaya is the local prosecutor for the state of Baja California Sur. He told ABC News the warrant for the suspect, which has not been named, was for femicide.
“This case is fully clarified. We even have a court order. There is an arrest warrant issued for the crime of femicide to the detriment of the victim and against an alleged perpetrator, a friend of her who is the direct aggressor,” Anaya said.
“Actually, it wasn’t a quarrel but instead a direct aggression,” Anaya continued. “We are carrying out all the pertinent procedures, such as the Interpol alert and the request for extradition to the United States of America. It’s about two Americans, the victim and the culprit.”
Initially, Robinson’s parents, Bernard Robinson and Salamondra Robinson, were told their daughter had died of alcohol poisoning. The family also said the group Robinson traveled with gave conflicting accounts of what happened, The Charlotte Observer reported.
“[I] spoke with her Friday evening she was having dinner and I never spoke with her again,” Salamondra told WBTV. “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.”
However, an autopsy cited the official cause of death as a “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” which is a dislocated neck. Dated Nov. 4, the autopsy also checked “yes” on a question asking whether the death was “accidental or violent.”
Then, a disturbing video surfaced of a woman said to be Shanquella Robinson being attacked in the villa she was staying in by one of her travel companions while others stood around and did nothing.
A male recording the fight could be heard in the background saying, “Quella, can you at least fight back? At least something? At least fight back, fight back, something?”
The video shows the violent attack continues on the woman identified as Shanquella continued, who never defends herself. After punching her countless times, the attacker says, “Get up girl, get up, I’m tired of your sh*t.”
Salamondra credits the outcry from Black social media users – who used the hashtags #JusticeForQuella and #SayHerName to make Shanquella’s story go viral – with helping amplify her daughter’s case and lead to the current arrest warrant.
“It feels really good to see the help coming in,” Salamondra told NBC News. “I never thought she wouldn’t get justice because we were going to try to go all the way. But I appreciate everything that everybody’s done, however you’ve played a part in it.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also joined the investigation into Shanquella’s death. A CNN legal analyst said in cases like this, suspects can also face charges at home.
“On the one hand, you could see Mexico engage in the prosecution,” Joey Jackson said. “On the other, we certainly have a statute in the United States that would provide for our government to be involved.”
“In the event that you go overseas and an American citizen is ultimately killed by another American citizen, there’s a statute that could provide for the prosecution to take place in this country,” Jackson continued.
Over 6,000 people had donated $380,395 to a GoFundMe campaign for Robinson’s family, surpassing the $385,000 goal at the time of this writing. NBA star Kyrie Irving was among the donors, giving the family $65,000.
Hundreds of people also attended Robinson’s funeral on Nov. 19 in Charlotte, where mourners wore pink to honor the beauty entrepreneur’s memory.
In an interview with MSNBC, Bernard shared how much it hurt to lose his daughter.
“God fight my battles ma’am. I just want justice for her. She’s gone now, so as a father, I can’t do nothing but just stand and be her voice and not let her die in vain,” Bernard said. “I’m standing here hurting, but I’m talking to you all at the same time. My life have changed tremendously, ma’am, to the utmost.”
Salamondra said she hopes each of Shanquella’s travel companions will be arrested and extradited to Mexico to face charges.
“I would like to see each one of them sent back to Mexico because their plan was to come back here thinking that they wasn’t going to be prosecuted,” Robinson told ABC News. “She was a caring person … and I want them to always remember that. We’re going to keep her legacy alive.”