One year later, family continues to seek justice for Shanquella Robinson

CHARLOTTE — The words Boss Lady are displayed prominently above Shanquella Robinson’s final resting place.

“She was her own boss,” her father, Bernard Robinson, said. “She was her own boss.”

Her father, Bernard, is still not resting in his search for answers about his daughter’s mysterious death.

“Daddy misses you so much, every day is a struggle for me to get up and move but God gives me the strength,” Robinson said in a prayer to Shanquella at her grave. “Everyone prays around this nation. That’s our movement. I know you’re looking down on me.”

It was one year ago, Shanquella traveled to Cabo with a group of people she considered friends.

She never returned home.

Family says they were told the 25-year-old died of alcohol poisoning. But an autopsy from Mexico said she died of a broken neck and spinal cord.

A video also surfaced of her being attacked by another woman on the trip.

Her death-- and the mystery surrounding it became a rallying cry as the FBI opened an investigation.

But in April, federal investigators opted to not bring criminal charges, saying the evidence does not support a federal prosecution.

Channel 9 obtained the autopsy, conducted by the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Officer about 3 weeks after Robinson died.

It differs from the autopsy in Mexico which claims Shanquella died of severe neck and spinal cord injuries.

In Mecklenburg County’s autopsy, the cause of death is undetermined.


The autopsy lays out Shanquella’s last day hour by hour on October 29.

It says at 7 or 7:30 am local time is when she was seen here, in this video being attacked. After the incident, she went back to her room. No one reportedly heard from her until just before noon, when the housekeeper found her lying down on the bathroom floor. It wouldn’t be until 2:15pm that the people she was on the trip with called for medical care, claiming she consumed too much alcohol.The report says the doctor arrived at 3:15, finding her minimally responsive and dehydrated. As the doctor tried to place an IV, the autopsy says she went into convulsive crisis, before going into complete cardiopulmary arrest at 4:49. At 5:57, after multiple rounds of resuscitation, she was pronounced deceased.

Contrary to the Mexican death report, the local autopsy found no evidence of any neck or spinal cord injuries. It did find a “hematoma of the forehead” consistent with blunt force trauma.

The local autopsy also says tests for alcohol were performed in mexico and found to be negative. But it also noted there was enough time for alcohol to metabolize.

“The Mexican authorities literally have advised that this is a priority for them that this case is a priority,” Sue-Ann Robinson, Shanquella Robinson’s attorney, said. “However, it takes two to tango.”

The attorney overseeing Shanquella’s case is Sue-Ann Robinson, who isn’t related to the family. She says there is still an active arrest warrant in Mexico related the attack captured on camera. Her focus is getting the State Department to comply with the extradition request. She also says her office is exploring a civil suit against the people who traveled with Shanquella.

“It is absolutely a marathon and not a sprint,” she said. “Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it always bends towards justice and that’s what keeps us all going in this case.”

At his daughter’s grave site, Bernard Robinson says the days are long and difficult

“I have my moments. I really have my moments,” he said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think something like this would happen.”

He is vowing to press on and continue to fight

“God fight our battles,” he said. “We’ll put it all in His hands but as a father standing right here in front of my daughter’s grave, justice will be served.”

(WATCH BELOW: The Shanquella Robinson Investigation: One year later)