SHANQUELLA Robinson’s family has slammed the FBI for not taking responsibility for their refusal to release important documents in the slain tourist’s case.
Shanquella’s legal team and family continue to demand diplomatic intervention from the United States after she died while on vacation in Mexico.
Shanquella, the owner of a hair braiding business and online fashion boutique, traveled to Mexico on October 28 but died the next day in a luxury villa in Cabo San Lucas.
The 25-year-old was vacationing when she suffered a head injury and died of a broken neck, according to an autopsy by Mexican authorities.
During the investigation, Mexican officials identified an alleged aggressor in Shanquella’s death.
But it was announced in April 2023 that the FBI office in North Carolina, where Shanquella was from, declined to press charges against the alleged aggressor.
Shanquella’s legal team said that the FBI still has not released key documents to the family relating to the woman’s death.
“FBI have not released any documents to the family at all,” Attorney Sue-Ann Robinson, who represents Shanquella’s family but is not related to them, said.
“Nothing from the investigation or even their decision in writing.
“They’ve advised [the case] file is still ‘open’ so they can’t give any documents but charges have been declined.”
The attorney said that the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner released a copy of the autopsy to the media.
“FBI saying they can’t release any documents even to the family. At the same time, the medical examiner is releasing unredacted autopsy documents to the press.
“That tells us that the FBI and the medical examiner [that] they are relying on to decline charges [are] on two different pages which is yet another red flag.
“These are the kinds of major oversights that cause us concern.
“Like the lights are on but no one is taking responsibility for the matter and prioritizing as it should be.”
Shanquella had traveled to Mexico with a group of travel mates, as Sue-Ann referred to them.
It was determined during the investigation in Mexico that one of Shanquella’s travel mates was the attacker in the caught-on-camera incident that claimed the tourist’s life, Shanquella’s attorneys wrote in a letter to President Biden.
Shanquella’s family and legal team hoped that the US would pursue the case and extradite the suspect to Mexico.
”At this point, it’s going to take someone from the state department to intervene, prioritize the case, and allow the extradition process to go through,” Sue-Ann said of the status of the case.
That process would require authorization from the state department, which is why Shanquella’s lawyers continue to demand diplomatic intervention in the case.
“That’s why we’re saying, and know for a fact, that the case is not being prioritized, especially now that the FBI has decided to decline charges,” Sue-Ann said.
The attorney said that the decision to not prosecute the case in the US sends a strong message.
”I think the concern at this time for the administration should just be sending a message to US citizens that if you travel to Cabo, Mexico with other US citizens and you are harmed on video, that as long as the people who perpetrated the crime return back to the US, that they’re not going to be held accountable for what they did.”
Sue-Ann also said that Shanquella’s family is “deeply disappointed” that the US won’t file charges and pursue the case here.
”They’re concerned obviously about the red flags and the lack of transparency in the investigation, but they’re not deterred,” the attorney said.
“There’s still a path to justice and the family recognizes that.”
When reached for comment on Monday, the FBI pointed The U.S. Sun to a previous press release about the agency meeting with Shanquella’s family.
It said in part: “As in any case, the government is prepared to review and examine new information related to the investigation should it become available.”
‘LEVEL OF URGENCY’
Sue-Ann said that Shanquella’s family is planning to return to Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2023, which will mark the 200th day since Shanquella’s death.
There, the team of lawyers and family members will again demand diplomatic intervention.
“There should be a level of urgency, a level of prioritization by the US authorities that just isn’t there yet,” Sue-Ann said.
“We all saw what happened on the video and we are demanding that US authorities step in and prioritize the case and allow the extradition process to flow, allow Mexican authorities to prosecute the person they’ve identified as the aggressor in Mexican courts.”
Despite the setback, the family isn’t going to stop pushing for answers in the case.
“We’re still encouraging and grateful for all the platforms that are still saying Shanquella’s name and not giving up on the case because we’re not giving up on it,” Sue-Ann said.
Sue-Ann recently traveled to Mexico to check in on the status of the case and advocate for the Robinson family after sending a letter to the White House in March demanding diplomatic intervention.
She shared that the investigation into Shanquella’s death has been completed in Mexico and that an extradition packet was handed to the US government.
She and Shanquella’s family continue to plead with US officials for action in the case, which has been deemed femicide – a term used by Mexican police to describe the homicide of a woman on account of her gender.
The lawyer called the trip a “fact-finding mission” in the letter to the White House, which was obtained by The U.S. Sun.
“It was a surreal experience in the sense that I’ve been an attorney for almost 17 years. I’m a former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney,” Sue-Anne said.
“I have never had to physically go to another country to investigate on behalf of any family.
“So it was unreal in that regard because the lengths that this family has had to go through while trying to grieve a loved one, but also seek justice on behalf of the loved one at the same time … it’s a very heavy burden.
“I always say that I’m amazed at how they’ve put their shoulder to the plow to really push this forward.”