CHARLOTTE — There are more questions than answers in the death of Charlotte woman Shanquella Robinson. She died while on a trip to Cabo with friends, but her parents never believed the story those friends told them.
The agency presiding over the case in Mexico confirmed to ABC News they have begun a femicide investigation into Robinson’s death.
The state attorney general’s office of Baja California Sur -- the state Cabo is in -- tells Channel 9 it “maintain the lines of investigations to collect more evidence to achieve the accurate clarification of the events, without ruling out any hypothesis.”
The U.S. State Department is putting pressure on Mexico to solve the case, ABC News learned Friday morning.
On Wednesday, Channel 9 obtained Robinson’s death certificate. It lists the cause of death as “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” and says she died within 15 minutes of injury. Alcohol poisoning, which her family said Robinson’s friends blamed her death on, is never mentioned.
In the box asking whether the death was accidental or violent, the medical examiner wrote “yes.”
Then on Thursday, the attorney general’s office sent ABC News a statement, adding they’ve also started a investigation into her killing.
‘I got a hole in my heart’
Channel 9 spoke to Robinson’s parents, who said they are not giving up until they have answers.
“I just want some truth because this doesn’t add up right,” said her father, Bernard Robinson.
“She was a good child and had a great heart,” said Sallamondra Robinson, Shanquella’s mother. “And she did not deserve to be treated like that.”
The hurt Bernard Robinson is experiencing now is unimaginable.
“It’s just a hurting feeling man, my heart. I got a hole in my heart,” he told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno. “I can’t even be a granddad. I can’t even walk her down the aisle.”
It fuels his desire to learn what happened to his daughter. He never believed her friends’ claim that Shanquella died of alcohol poisoning.
“I know it is not no alcohol poisoning, I know it wasn’t,” he said.
ABC News spoke with Shanquella Robinson’s sister after Thursday’s new developments.
VIDEO: Family has message for people responsible with Charlotte woman killed in Mexico
“Stop running,” sister Quilla Long said. “Somebody needs to stand up for her. Somebody that was there video and need to stand up for her.”
At this time, none of her friends who she went on the trip with are facing charges. Her mom says she has been in contact with the FBI, and a spokesperson for the FBI confirmed to Bruno the agency’s Charlotte Division has been in contact with the family.
What is a femicide investigation?
The attorney general’s office in Mexico sent ABC News a statement Thursday, adding they’ve also launched what’s known as a “femicide investigation.”
Michael Lettieri is an expert on femicide in that region of Mexico. He says its outcome will dictate the early stages of the investigation.
“It is supposed to be investigated in a very particular way that’s sensitive to the gender dynamics of the crime,” he said.
Lettieri says 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.
Essentially, gender causes for violence have to be ruled out before it is classified as a homicide.
Lettieri says attention on this case could help it be resolved.
“That it is an American, means there will additional pressure on the Mexican government and the state government to resolve this case and I think that will likely lead to a resolution,” he said.
Bernard Robinson says he wants justice and he won’t rest until he gets it.
“That’s all I ask the Lord to do is give me justice, not to let my daughter die in vain,” Robinson said.
The statement from the attorney general’s office Wednesday is below:
“The State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) of Baja California Sur carries out the field and cabinet proceedings to clarify the events in which a female person of foreign origin lost her life, on October 29th, in a beach club in San José del Cabo. It is reported that Saturday, October 29th, at approximately 6:15 pm, it received a call from a Public Security member who reported that, in a house room of the Fundadores Beach Club area, in San José del Cabo, there was a woman without life.
“State Criminal Investigation Agents went to the scene, where the first investigations were carried out under the corresponding protocols. Experts from the Directorate of Forensic Services, carried out the processing of the place, looking for clues that will be attached to the investigation folder. The PGJE maintains the lines of investigations to collect more evidence to achieve the accurate clarification of the events, without ruling out any hypothesis.”
The attorney general’s office sent the following statement to ABC News:
“We inform you that the result of the autopsy determined as the cause of death: Severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation. An investigation was initiated for femicide. Yesterday’s statement and this latest information are what the Baja California Sur Attorney General’s Office can share for now. The investigation continues its course and to the extent that the legal framework allows it, the results will be informed.”
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