Shankella Robinson arrived in the picturesque Mexican city of San Jose del Cabo on October 28 with six girlfriends.
One day later, the 25-year-old student at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina died while staying at a luxury rental property in Baja California Sur.
Now, nearly a month after the death, the FBI is investigating and Mexican prosecutors are seeking to extradite one of Robinson’s friends as a suspect in the case.
Here’s what we know about the case, which gained attention after a viral video surfaced showing another woman punching Robinson while someone else filmed the attack.
According to her father, Bernard Robinson, Robinson went on vacation to Mexico with her college friends from Winston-Salem State University.
The last time she spoke with her mother on the phone was on the morning of October 28.
Exactly one month later, Salamond Robinson recalled her last conversation with her daughter in an interview with CNN.
“When I talked to her, she seemed pretty happy. She was laughing,” Salamond Robinson said on Nov. 28.
“She seemed very happy on the trip,” and there were no signs of trouble, the mother recalled.
“I said, ‘OK, enjoy yourself.’ Love you. I will talk to you tomorrow. And I never spoke to him again.
The next day, Robinson was found dead in the living room of her vacation rental, US and Mexican authorities said.
Friend speaks out after woman found dead in Mexico
According to a copy of her death certificate obtained by CNN affiliate WBTV, Robinson’s cause of death was “severe spinal cord injury and atlas luxation,” which is instability or excessive movement of the upper cervical vertebrae.
The death certificate classified Robinson’s death as “accidental or violent,” noting the approximate time between injury and death was 15 minutes.
After Robinson’s death, her six friends returned to the United States.
A video of a physical altercation in the room between Robinson and another person appears to have circulated online in recent weeks.
It is not clear when the video was taken or if it depicts the moment she suffered the fatal injury.
The video shows Robinson being thrown to the floor and hit in the head, CNN’s Bernard Robinson confirmed.
Prosecutors in Mexico said last week an arrest warrant was issued there for a woman suspected of fatally attacking Robinson.
Robinson’s mother said she has not been told who the suspect is.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Salamondra Robinson said on Nov. 28. “Last I was told…they haven’t found them yet; the suspect they’re looking for.”
Prosecutors said they were working on the extradition process with Mexico’s attorney general and the foreign ministry.
Evidence showed the death was a “direct assault, not an accident” and involved the victim’s girlfriend, prosecutors said.
Mexican authorities have announced that the death occurred in San Jose del Cabo. The FBI said it happened in nearby Cabo San Lucas, and the agency did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Mexican officials have not named the suspect, but have confirmed that she is a US citizen who is 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.
The FBI’s Charlotte field office said it has opened an investigation into Robinson’s death.
The cause of death was not “a dispute” but “a direct aggression committed by this person,” Baja California Sur Attorney General Daniel de la Rosa told local media last week.
The suspect’s extradition is underway, the prosecutor said.
“An arrest warrant has already been issued for the crime of femicide,” or killing a woman because of her gender, de la Rosa said, adding that the victim’s “friend” was to blame for the death.
An arrest warrant remains in place in Mexico, prosecutors said, and they are consulting with federal government officials in both countries about an extradition request.
“We are already doing all the relevant procedures, both the Interpol case and the extradition request,” de la Rosa said.
According to CNN legal analyst Joy Jackson, Mexico and the United States have a long-standing extradition treaty and a history of cooperation on such matters.
“On the one hand, you could see Mexico getting involved in prosecutions,” Jackson said.
“On the other hand, we certainly have statutes in the United States that provide for our government to be involved. In the event that you go abroad and an American citizen ends up being killed by another American citizen, there is a statute that could provide for prosecution in that country.
Meanwhile, Robinson’s family is waiting for more information from authorities and their daughter’s friends.
“You took my only jewel from me,” said Bernard Robinson. “You punched a big hole in my heart. All I can do is fight for him. I can’t let her die in vain. ”