Shanquella Robinson: U.S. Didn’t Find Spinal Injuries in Woman Who Died in Mexico

U.S. officials found discrepancies in an autopsy performed on a North Carolina woman who died last year while vacationing in Mexico.

The Charlotte Observer received Shanquella Robinson’s autopsy report this week upon filing a public records request. The secondary autopsy — which the FBI ordered a month after Robinson’s death in October — was performed by the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina said they would not be pursing criminal charges in this case due to a lack of evidence.

Though Mexican officials initially attributed Robinson’s death to alcohol poisoning, a death certificate issued there listed her death as a severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation — suggesting her first vertebra became unattached from her skull. The report does not mention alcohol.

However, U.S. forensic pathologist Dr. Thomas Owens found no spinal cord injuries and listed her death as undetermined. Owens speculated that Mexico’s autopsy yielded different findings because Robinson’s spine was not properly inspected or completely visualized, according to The Charlotte Observer.

The family’s lawyers said the discrepancies in the two countries’ findings can be attributed to the fact that the U.S. examined Robinson’s body after she was embalmed.

Additionally, Owens said he could not determine whether Robinson had alcohol in her system because too much time had transpired before a toxicology screening.

Following Robinson death, a video surfaced online which apparently shows Robinson being attacked in a hotel room. During the video, someone is heard telling “Quella” to “at least fight back.”

In an 18-page information packet given to U.S. officials in March, Mexican authorities reportedly identified Daejhanae Jackson as the “perpetrator” and issued a warrant for her arrest. Jackson was one of the six people who travelled to Mexico with Robinson.

The information packet also stated that a concierge at the Cabo Villas told an investigator that Robinson was the last person in her group to arrive for dinner and she appeared “not [to] fit in” with her party.

A day after the dinner, Jackson allegedly texted the concierge about a doctor and where nearby medical services were located as her friend had alcohol poisoning. Jackson ultimately agreed to have a doctor come to their room.

The doctor eventually arrived and gave Robinson an I.V. bag. An hour later, she suffered convulsions and died.

The concierge told investigators that Robinson was said not to be in serious condition but was unconscious and required an I.V. At some point, Jackson allegedly texted him about taking Robinson to the hospital — though he learned the group discussed whether they had the insurance to cover a hospital trip.

According to reports, an administrator at the villas told police in November that he believed Jackson is the woman seen beating Robinson in the video circulating on social media.

Though Mexican officials issued a warrant for Jackson’s arrest, U.S. officials said she is not a suspect following an FBI investigation.

It remains unclear if the U.S. will handle or honor the pending extradition request by Mexico. The Department of Justice or Department of State’s stance on extradition is also unknown.

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[Featured image: Shanquella Robinson/Instagram]