If you spend significant time on TikTok, you’ve likely stumbled upon a video about Shanquella Robinson, a North Carolina resident who passed away in suspicious circumstances in Cabo. Robinson and her friends flew to Mexico to celebrate one of their birthdays during the last weekend of October 2022. 

The party returned one short – they left Robinson’s body in Mexico, placing the burden of bringing Shanquella home on her family. The family spent $6,000 to transport Robinson home two weeks after her tragic passing. 

Shanquella Robinson’s death remains shrouded in mystery as her friends’ statements and the evidence conflict. 

Robinson’s friends said she fell ill and died due to alcohol poisoning

Salamandra, Robinson’s mom, spoke to her daughter for the last time on Friday night, hours after she and her friends arrived in Cabo. Shanquella told her that a chef was preparing dinner for them, Salamandra told QueenCity News

Salamandra said she received a call from one of Shanquella’s friends the following day claiming her daughter wasn’t breathing due to alcohol poisoning. She told WBTV3:

“On Saturday evening, they called and said she wasn’t feeling well and they were going to call a doctor. And when they called, the doctor hadn’t arrived yet, but they said she had alcohol poisoning.”

A friend who arrived at the location on Saturday said the friends told him Shanquella was sick and showing signs of alcohol poisoning. Via a video posted on social media, the friend said he arrived in Mexico at 2:16 p.m. local time and called to ask for directions:

“During the phone call was the first time I heard that Quella wasn’t feeling good. One of their friends said she was showing symptoms of alcohol poisoning. I’m not saving somebody, I’m not protecting my ass, I’m keeping it real.” 

The autopsy report says Shanquella suffered a fatal spinal injury, suggesting she was assaulted

Salamandra told QueenCity News she got suspicious about Shanquella’s death because each witness had a different story. “No one told the same story,” she said, “so I never believed them anyway.”

The outlet reported that the friends called the concierge for help on Saturday afternoon. The concierge rang a doctor, who arrived and performed CPR on Robinson, but couldn’t revive her, QueenCity News added. Shanquella died 15 minutes after her injury, per the death certificate.

The autopsy report affirmed Salamandra’s suspicions that Shanquella’s friends lied about her passing. It listed the cause of death as severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation, which is instability of the upper vertebrae. 

“The autopsy said it [Shanquella’s death] had nothing to do with alcohol – it said she had broken her neck and her spine was cracked,” Salamandra said. “She had been beaten.” Officials at the United States Department in Mexico spoke to QueenCity News, refuting the claim that Robinson was murdered and adding there was no evidence of a crime. 

Netizens seeking justice for Shanquella Robinson opine that a video showing Robinson getting beaten by one of her friends, Daejhanae Jackson, points to foul play. 


The footage shows Jackson punching, slamming, and hitting a woman who appears to be Robinson to the ground. “Quella can you at least fight back, do something,” the man recording says. Jackson continues to land hits as Robinson remains on the floor. “Get up! I’m tired of your shit,” the woman yells. 

The friend who arrived on Saturday said he didn’t know why the pair fought. “I don’t know nothing of it,” he said, per RadarOnline. “Don’t know nothin’ ‘bout it. Don’t know why it happened.”

The U.S. Department of State is looking into Robinson’s death

Salamandra said she knows nothing will bring Shanquella back, but she wants justice for her daughter. “She had a heart of gold,” Salamandra told WBTV. “She loved everybody, and pretty much everybody loved her.”

The U.S. Department of State is looking into her death, RadarOnline reports. It released the following statement:

“We are aware of these reports regarding Robinson. Protecting the welfare of U.S. citizens overseas is among our top priorities. Out of respect for the privacy of those involved, we have no further comment at this time.”