The US is considering an extradition request from Mexico after authorities in the country accused an American woman of killing another American woman who was beaten while on vacation in a viral video.
Prosecutors in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur have not named the suspect in the death of Shanquella Robinson of North Carolina, who reportedly died of a serious spinal cord or neck injury while vacationing in Mexico on Oct. 29.
Robinson’s death sparked massive social media intrigue after a viral video showed her being beaten, apparently by an American woman. Robinson had traveled to San Jose del Cabo with friends, who told Robinson’s family that she died of alcohol poisoning.
But a copy of Robinson’s death certificate obtained by Charlotte news channel WBTV said the cause of her death was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation.”
Prosecutors said evidence showed the death was the result of “a direct attack, not an accident,” and that a girlfriend of the victim was involved, CNN reported. They said they approached Mexican federal prosecutors and diplomats to try to extradite an unnamed female suspect to face charges in Mexico.
Robinson’s death shocked people in both Mexico and the US.
The 25-year-old had arrived in San Jose del Cabo on Oct. 28 and was staying at a vacation home with college friends, her father told CNN.
Robinson’s mother, Salamondra Robinson, told CBS News that her daughter’s friends initially said she had become ill with alcohol poisoning.
However, when a video of Robinson being beaten went viral in mid-November, suspicions arose that Robinson may have died at the hands of people she was traveling with.
The video shows Robinson being thrown to the ground and hit on the head. In the footage, a man with an American accent can be heard saying, “Can you at least fight back?” The man did not seem to intervene in the beating.
Salamondra Robinson confirmed to CBS News that it was her daughter in the video, adding that a man on the trip was “supposedly her best friend”.
“And he’d been on family outings with us, you know?” Salamondra Robinson added. “And he had been to the family house.”
The group Robinson traveled with left Mexico after she was found dead.
Local prosecutor Antonio López Rodríguez said the case is being treated as a possible homicide and an arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect, the Associated Press reported.
Baja California Sur Attorney General Daniel de la Rosa Anaya said the death was not the result of an “argument” but of “a direct aggression that this person made,” according to CNN. De la Rosa Anaya confirmed that the suspect was American, but did not identify her.