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Arrest warrant issued for friend of a North Carolina woman found dead while on vacation in Mexico

<i>Family Handout</i><br/>Shanquella Robinson
Family Handout
Shanquella Robinson

By Rashad Walker, Karol Suarez and Melissa Alonso, CNN

Mexican prosecutors have obtained an arrest warrant for the friend of a North Carolina woman found dead last month while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas and on Thursday called the death the result of “a direct attack.”

Shanquella Robinson, 25, was traveling with college friends from Winston-Salem State University when she was found dead in a vacation rental property, said her father, Bernard Robinson.

Robinson, with six friends, arrived October 28 in Mexico, according to a Thursday statement by Mexican prosecutors working on extradition proceedings with their country’s attorney general and Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Evidence shows the death resulted from “a direct attack, not an accident,” and involved one of the victim’s female friends, the prosecutors said.

Mexican officials have not named the suspect but confirmed she is a US citizen who is believed to be in the United States. No one has been charged in the case, and authorities have not released the names of Robinson’s friends.

CNN has reached out to the US State Department, FBI and US Justice Department for comment.

The extradition process was underway for the suspect, the attorney general for Mexico’s Baja California Sur, Daniel de la Rosa, told local media Wednesday.

“There is already an arrest warrant issued for the crime of femicide to the detriment of the victim and against an alleged, responsible for these acts, a friend of hers,” de la Rosa said Wednesday.

The death did not result from a “quarrel” but from “a direct aggression that this person made,” de la Rosa said.

“We are already carrying out all the relevant procedures, both the Interpol file and the extradition request,” he said.

Robinson last spoke to her mother, Salamondra, on the phone on the morning of October 28, her father told CNN last week. The next day, Shanquella Robinson was found dead at her vacation rental, US and Mexican authorities said.

The cause of death was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” which is instability or excessive movement in the uppermost neck vertebrae, states a copy of her death certificate obtained by CNN affiliate WBTV. She was found unconscious in the living room of the rental residence on October 29, the document states.

The death certificate classified Robinson’s death as “accidental or violent,” noting the approximate time between injury and death was 15 minutes.

Video posted online appears to show a physical altercation inside a room between Robinson and another person. It’s not clear when the video was taken or if it depicts the moment she suffered the fatal injury.

It is Robinson seen in the video being thrown to the floor and beaten on the head, Bernard Robinson confirmed to CNN.

It’s unclear what led to the altercation or how many people were in the room at the time. It’s also unclear if anyone tried to intervene.

The FBI Charlotte Field Office has opened an investigation into Shanquella Robinson’s death, it confirmed Friday.

Her family had been waiting for more information from her friends and Mexican authorities, her father said a week ago.

“You took my only jewel from me,” he told CNN by phone. “You put a big hole in my heart. The only thing I can do is fight for her; I cannot let her die in vain.”

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Hannah Sarisohn and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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