Months later, the push for answers around Shanquella Robinson’s death continues

Robinson died while on a trip to Mexico this past October.
A childhood friend described Robinson as having a cheerful smile and infectious laugh.
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 10:42 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A cheerful smile and an infectious laugh are just some of the words to describe Shanquella Robinson.

For those who knew her, Robinson’s smile would light up the room. For the world, her story has touched strangers since her Oct. 29 death in Cabo, Mexico.

Who was the now 26-year-old?

“She lived. She lived,” childhood friend Kayla Mitchell said. “She was just full of energy, just full of love.”

A cheerful smile and an infectious laugh are just some of the words to describe Shanquella Robinson.

Mitchell and Robinson met as freshmen at West Charlotte High School. As Lions, the two would quickly bond -- from teammates on the cheerleading squad to DubC-TV.

Previous Coverage: Charlotte family pushing for answers after daughter found dead in Mexico

“We first met during our freshman year at West Charlotte,” Mitchell said. “We started in the IB program when we instantly connected through our love in fashion, we love to dress up. We put our finest on every day and we loved to take pictures, so that is kind of how our relationship started.”

Mitchell said there is a memory of her and Robinson’s time in high school that sticks out.

“I don’t know why, but it was her birthday,” Mitchell said. “And I got her something as simple as a hot chocolate from Dunkin’ Donuts, and you would think I would have brought her the most extravagant gift ever. She was just so happy, she recorded on her Snapchat like it was a real moment for her. So just, you know, just the simplest thing to just make her happy. That just puts a smile on my face the last time where you know just a moment where I can recall her just being happy and being around good company.”

Previous Coverage: FBI now investigating Charlotte woman’s death in Mexico

Recalling those moments brings a smile, which is why Mitchell said hearing of Robinson’s death shocked her.

“I just couldn’t believe someone will be capable of doing something like this, and not only to her, like, it was just crazy because I was actually you know, watching her story, like seeing that she’s enjoying her time. So, it’s just like how did it just go left? Like, devastated. Devastated,” Mitchell said. “She was so young, she had so much more life to live. Like we were planning to work together, like just so much was coming. Like her prosperity, her business was booming, like it was just so much she had to look forward to.”

What happened to Robinson?

  • Oct. 28: Arrives in Cabo, Mexico with a group of friends
  • Oct. 29: Found dead in hotel room
  • Early November: A video showing an alleged fight goes viral on social media. Robinson’s parents told WBTV an autopsy report showed she died of a cracked spine.
  • Nov. 18: FBI announces their investigation
  • Nov. 19: Robinson was laid to rest in Charlotte
  • Nov. 24: Mexican authorities issue an arrest warrant for a ‘direct aggressor’

Three months later, there are still many unanswered questions.

In a recent news conference, Mexican prosecutor Daniel de la Rosa Anaya reiterated a request has been made for extradition for the “direct aggressor.” He also said they’ve asked U.S. authorities to interview those on the trip.

No arrests have been made.

As far as the FBI’s independent investigation, it is still ongoing.

“The FBI investigation into the death of Shanquella Robinson is ongoing. We know this is a difficult time for her family and the community. The FBI is working with the Department of Justice to conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation.”

The State Department referred us to Mexican authorities for any questions regarding the investigation.

“Any questions you have?” WBTV asked Mitchell.

“What is going on? What’s the progress, what’s in motion? Like, what’s the timeline? That’s my question,” Mitchell said. “It’s been months now. We don’t have any real updates, no progress as we see you know, we’re all wondering why is it taking so long?”

Previous Coverage: Charlotte continues to rally around, fight for family of Shanquella Robinson

She also has a message to whoever may know what happened.

“You can’t run away from justice. God is a just God. So, whatever you do, when people are not around, God sees it and that’s the you have to go through him, and you can’t get away from him and his justice,” she said.

“What would you want the world to know about Shanquella Robinson?” WBTV asked.

“That she was just so full of life she loved experiences living big just enjoying and making the most of it and I feel like that’s a lesson that could be valuable to all of us. It’s just to enjoy our lives and just really live,” Mitchell replied.

Statements from the family of Shanquella Robinson

“On behalf of the Robinson and the Long family, thank you all for the outpouring of support. In my sister’s untimely demise three months ago, unfortunately, no one has been arrested, and the investigation of this case is still on going. Please continue to support and stand with us in solidarity in this journey/fight for justice for Shanquella.”

“I am so blessed and grateful for you all to do this for the city of Charlotte N.C., and not letting the people who is responsible for her life just think they can do what they did and not answer to what happened in their presence. Once again, thank you for caring about Shanquella Robinson.”

Previous Coverage: Shanquella Robinson investigation: When could it end? Where does it stand?