US Officials Won’t Pursue Federal Prosecution in the Death of Woman Who Died in Mexico Last October

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
April 13, 2023US News
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US Officials Won’t Pursue Federal Prosecution in the Death of Woman Who Died in Mexico Last October
A sign at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington on June 14, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney Office officials, alongside federal agents, have met with family members of a U.S. woman who died under suspicious circumstances in Mexico last October. The officials told relatives that no federal prosecution would follow based on the evidence in the case.

The officials proceeded to present information relating to the case.

According to a joint statement released by the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina on April 12, the FBI made the investigation of the death of Shanquella Robinson a top priority.

“The FBI has worked diligently to conduct a detailed and thorough investigation of the evidence available in this case. In coordination with Ms. Robinson’s family, an autopsy was conducted in the United States by the Medical Examiner’s Office in Mecklenburg County,” according to the statement.

The statement says that cases under consideration for federal prosecution are subject to proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a federal crime was committed.

“Based on the results of the autopsy and after a careful deliberation and review of the investigative materials by both U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, federal prosecutors informed Ms. Robinson’s family today that the available evidence does not support a federal prosecution,” the statement continues.

Federal officials broke protocol by issuing a statement because of “public concern” about the case.

“The death of Ms. Robinson has been incredibly difficult for her family and the community. As a matter of policy, federal officials generally do not issue public statements concerning the status of an investigation,” the statement goes on to say.

The statement concludes that the government will review and examine any new information should it emerge.

Robinson, 25, was a former Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina student. She died on October 29 last year at a Mexican resort while on holiday with six friends. The case attracted significant attention, with suspicion of foul play being rife.

According to the family’s attorney, Sue-Ann Robinson, family members were deeply disappointed at the decision but planned to persist in seeking justice.

The attorney was critical of investigators on the case in what she perceived to be deliberate procrastination, saying the investigation was dragged out until after their autopsy was conducted.
“There was no swift action on this case. There was absolutely no urgency on the part of the U.S. authorities,” Robinson stated.

According to the death certificate, Robinson’s death was caused by severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation (instability or excessive movement in the uppermost neck vertebrae), as reported by CNN. The document describes Robinson as being found unconscious in the property’s living room.

According to a video that surfaced online, Robinson is seen in a physical altercation inside a room with another person. There are no clues as to when the video was filmed or any indication that it related to the specific attack that led to her death.

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