FBI investigates death of North Carolina woman in Mexico seen on video assaulted

The FBI has launched an investigation in death last month of an American woman in Mexico who was seen being assaulted in a cell phone video that went viral.

The FBI confirmed in a statement to CBS News on Tuesday that it has “opened an investigation” into the death of Shanquella Robinson of Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to the FBI statement, the death occurred “on or about” October 29 in Cabo San Lucas. Mexican authorities last week said the death occurred in San Jose del Cabo, which is about 20 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas. Both are located in the state of Baja California Sur.

In a statement on November 17, Mexican prosecutors said they were investigating the death of a woman, identified only as a foreigner, at a resort in San Jose del Cabo. At the time, however, a Mexican government official, who was not authorized to be named, confirmed that the victim was Robinson. The official confirmed that the group he was traveling with had left Mexico.

A video apparently filmed at a luxury villa in San Jose del Campo shows a woman, apparently American, hitting another woman.

The video has been reposted many times on social media. In it, a man with an American accent is heard saying “Can you at least fight back?” The man did not appear to intervene in the beating.

Mexican prosecutors said police found Robinson dead in the villa on October 29.

Shanquella’s mother, Salamondra Robinson, told CBS News in an interview last week that investigators in Mexico are treating her daughter’s death as a homicide.

“I was glad to hear that,” he said.

Salamondra said she was initially told by Shanquella’s friends that she had become ill with alcohol poisoning. But she later learned there had been a fight and an autopsy found she had injuries to her spinal cord and neck.

An autopsy showed that “her death had nothing to do with alcohol,” Salamondra said.

Mexican officials said they could not confirm the cause of death because it was part of an ongoing investigation.

When Salamondra saw the video, she said she knew it was her daughter. She raised questions about why no one intervened in the alleged beating or why people she was traveling with would have hit her.

“He wasn’t fighting anybody. He didn’t even have the chance,” Salamondra said. “No one tried to stop it.”

The group Shanquella was traveling with were people she went to college with, Salamondra said.

“One of the guys was supposed to be her best friend,” he said. “And he’d gone on family trips with us, you know? And he’d been to the family home.”

Salamondra said she hadn’t seen him since she got the autopsy results. She said she hopes she can get more answers about what happened to her daughter, who she described as having “a heart of gold.”

“She loved everybody. She didn’t mistreat anybody. Never. Nobody could ever say anything bad about her because she was a good person,” Salamondra said.

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