CHARLOTTE — The FBI officially opened an investigation into the death of Shanquella Robinson, a spokesperson confirmed.
According to the state attorney general in Mexico investigating the case, Robinson was killed while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Oct. 29. At first, friends told Robinson’s family she died of alcohol poisoning, but the autopsy showed she died of a broken neck and spine.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the FBI Charlotte sent Channel 9′s Joe Bruno a statement saying the agency is investigating the case.
“The FBI Charlotte Field Office has opened an investigation in the death of Charlotte resident, Shanquella Robinson in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on or about October 29, 2022,” the statement reads. “Due to the ongoing investigation, we have no further comment.”
On Thursday, the attorney general confirmed to ABC News they have begun a femicide investigation into Robinson’s death. An expert on femicide in that region of Mexico told Channel 9 when a woman is killed in Mexico, authorities are often required to open the investigation as a femicide. From there, they look into whether she was killed for reasons due to her gender or if there were specific circumstances, such as domestic violence.
Her sister, Quilla Long, spoke on “Good Morning America” Friday morning. Both she and her mother said they think Shanquella’s friends know something.
“Somebody needs to stand up for her. Someone that was in that video need to stand up for her,” Long said.
>> Bernard Robinson shared the family’s official GoFundMe with Bruno. To contribute, click here. By Friday night, the family had received more than $275,000 in donations.
“We never believed what they was telling us because each one that came back was telling a different story,” said Shanquella’s mother, Sallamondra Robinson.
Channel 9 has previously spoken to Robinson’s parents, who said they are not giving up until they have answers.
“It’s just a hurting feeling man, my heart. I got a hole in my heart,” Shanquella’s father, Bernard Robinson, told Bruno. “I can’t even be a granddad. I can’t even walk her down the aisle.”
Earlier Friday, Rep. Alma Adams shared a statement about the case, saying no parent deserves to face what Robinson’s parents have.
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Shanquella Robinson, and my heart goes out to her family and those who loved her. No parent deserves to suffer this tragedy,” she said. “As with all cases involving constituents, our Congressional Office is ready to assist in any way we can with federal agencies. Any constituent who needs assistance with a federal agency can open a case with our office by calling 704-344-9950 or visiting adams.house.gov.”
NBA star and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving donated $65,000 Friday night to help pay for expenses and legal fees for the family of a Charlotte woman who was killed at a resort in Mexico.
‘Infinitely more likely that the case will be resolved’
The former assistant director of the FBI told Bruno the agency’s decision to launch its own investigation is rare and a huge deal.
“This is necessary because Mexican authorities don’t seem to be capable of investigating this fully without the help of the FBI,” Chris Swecker said.
Swecker says the FBI is invoking extraterritorial jurisdiction. It’s a rare step that requires approval from the Department of Justice, and it’s taken when there is a reasonable belief a crime was committed. It also increases the likelihood of finding out what actually happened.
“It makes it infinitely more likely that the case will be resolved,” Swecker said.
As the investigation starts, her friends who didn’t go on the trip with her said Shanquella Robinson would go above and beyond for people she cared about.
“She was just always there for me like all the time, like no matter what,” Chyna Duncan said. “It doesn’t matter what time, what place, like where you are.”
“She was a genuine person like she she had a heart of gold,” said Ariana Ward. “Like, no ill bone in her body.”
They told Bruno they want answers and accountability for their friend’s death.
“I would like everyone involved to be sentenced,” Duncan said.
“I would be at peace knowing that she gets her justice,” Ward said.
(WATCH BELOW: ‘Stop running’: Family has message for people responsible with Charlotte woman killed in Mexico)
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