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FBI investigating death of North Carolina woman in Mexico as family demands answers

Shanquella Robinson and six of her friends arrived in Cabo San Lucas on Oct. 28. She died less than 24 hours later, her father said.
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The FBI in Charlotte, North Carolina, has opened an investigation after an American woman died while vacationing in Mexico with friends.

Shanquella Robinson and six others arrived in Cabo San Lucas on Oct. 28, her father, Bernard Robinson, told NBC News on Friday. Less than 24 hours later she was dead, and the family is still trying to piece together what happened to the 25-year-old.

Mexican authorities have released very little information. Police in Cabo San Lucas and the FBI confirmed in separate statements that they are investigating the death.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said: "We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss. Out of respect for their privacy, we have no further comment at this time."

Shanquella Robinson.
Shanquella Robinson.via Facebook

Bernard Robinson, 58, said the family was told by his daughter's friends that she had died from alcohol poisoning, but he isn't convinced that is the truth. When her body arrived back in the U.S., he said she had bruises on her face.

"I cried like a baby. When I opened that box, saw her there ... she had a knot on the corner of her head, her lip was cut, her eye was swollen," he said, adding, "Deep down in my heart I knew it wasn’t alcohol poisoning."

Her family told local news station WBTV of Charlotte that an autopsy report states that Shanquella's neck had been broken and her spinal cord was cracked.

"That took it to a whole ‘nother level because that meant somebody had attacked her," her family said.

NBC News has not independently verified the autopsy report.

A cellphone video was posted online that allegedly showed Shanquella in a room being physically attacked. FBI Charlotte said earlier Friday that the video was "referred" to its office, but declined to answer further questions about it.

Robinson said he watched the video and questioned why no one stepped in to help his daughter.

No arrests or charges have been made in her death as of Friday afternoon. The friends Shanquella traveled with all returned to the U.S. They could not be reached at phone numbers listed for them.

Robinson said he just wants to know the truth about what happened to his daughter, who he remembered as "very caring, very loving."

"That was my only child. I loved her and I can’t believe somebody would hurt her like that. My joy is gone," he said. "I can’t even be a grandfather. I can’t even walk her down the aisle. I can’t even hear her voice. … I will not let my daughter die in vain."