Mexican prosecutors have obtained an arrest warrant for the friend of a North Carolina woman who was found vacationing in Cabo San Lucas last month, and on Thursday called the death the result of a “direct attack.”
Shankella Robinson, 25, was walking with college friends at Winston-Salem State University when she was found dead in a recreation area, her father, Bernard Robinson, said.
Robinson arrived in Mexico on Oct. 28 with six friends, according to a Thursday statement from Mexican prosecutors working with the country’s attorney general and the Foreign Ministry on the extradition process.
Evidence indicates the death was a “direct attack, not an accident” and that the victim was one of his friends, prosecutors said.
Mexican officials did not name the suspect but confirmed he is a US citizen believed to be in the US. No one has been charged in the case and authorities have not released the names of Robinson’s friends.
CNN has reached out to the US State Department, the FBI and the US Department of Justice for comment.
A CNN legal analyst explains the US-Mexico extradition treaty
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Extradition proceedings are underway for the suspect, Daniel de la Rosa, chief prosecutor of Mexico’s Baja California Sur, told local media on Wednesday.
“There is already an arrest warrant against her friend, who is suspected of being responsible for the crime of femicide that harmed the victim,” de la Rosa said Wednesday.
The death did not result from an “altercation” but from “direct aggression committed by this person,” de la Rosa said.
“We are following all relevant procedures, both the Interpol materials and the extradition request,” he said.
Robinson last spoke to his mother, Salamondra, on the phone on the morning of Oct. 28, his father told CNN last week. Shankella Robinson’s body was found the next day at her vacation home, US and Mexican authorities said.
The cause of death was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” which is instability or excessive movement of the uppermost cervical vertebrae, according to a copy of his death certificate obtained by CNN affiliate WBTV. She was found unconscious in the living room of the rented residence on Oct. 29, the document said.
The death certificate classified Robinson’s death as “accidental or violent” and estimated the time between injury and death at 15 minutes.
A video posted online shows a physical altercation between Robinson and another man inside a room. It is not known when the video was taken or when it was filmed at the time of his death.
Bernard Robinson confirmed to CNN that the video shows Robinson being thrown to the floor and hit in the head.
It is unclear what caused the altercation and how many people were in the room at the time. It is also unclear whether anyone tried to intervene.
The FBI’s Charlotte Field Office confirmed Friday that it has opened an investigation into Shankella Robinson’s death.
His family was waiting for more information from his friends and Mexican authorities, his father said a week ago.
“You took my only jewel,” he told CNN by phone. “You put a big hole in my heart. All I can do is fight for it; I cannot let him die in vain.’