Maria Fernanda Robles: Instagram influencer dies of drowning shortly after posting last photo with her friend

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Robles was the stepdaughter of Mexican singer Luis Ángel 'El Flaco’

An Instagram influencer has drowned in Mexico, just hours after posting a photo showing her enjoying time with one of her friends.

María Fernanda Robles, who was the stepdaughter of Mexican singer Luis Ángel 'El Flaco’ died in a popular Mexican resort earlier this month shortly after uploading a photo of her and a friend to her Instagram stories. She was 21-years-old.

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Robles, who posted on Instagram under the username @roblessfernanda, had more than 45,000 followers on the social media site. But, just who was Robles, how did she die and what tributes have been left to her. Here’s what you need to know.

Who was María Fernanda Robles?

Robles was a 21-year-old Instagram influencer, known for posting images of herself and her friends having fun together by the beach, by the sea and at home. According to her biography on Instagram, she lived in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Her last permanent Instagram post was in May and appeared to show her enjoying time out at sea on a boat while wearing a bikini. She captioned the image “Free and wild” with two love heart emojis.

Robles was the stepdaughter of famous Mexican singer Luis Ángel 'El Flaco, whose full name is Luis Angel Franco Rivera. He reportedly raised Robles as his own when he was in a relationship with her mother Mari Cruz Robles, who is now his ex-wife. The couple had two other children during their marriage, Ángela, aged 19, and Luis, aged 13. The half siblings were all said to be very close, and although he was no longer with her mother, Falco remained a father figure to Robles up until her tragic and untimely death.

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How did María Fernanda Robles die?

Robles died in the early hours of Monday 14 August during an evening out with friends on Cerritos beach, in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. According to local media reports, the drowning occurred at around 4:40am, after Robles entered the sea with at least two other friends in the popular beach resort in Sinaloa state. 

One of Robles’ friends also reportedly got in trouble in the sea, but was rescued and pulled to safety on Cerritos beach. Friends allegedly then saw the social media star’s body washing up on the beach and called the emergency services, but Robles could not be saved. An investigation into her death is ongoing but local reports also state that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time of her death.

The last Instagram post of influencer Maria Fernanda Robles, who has died of drowning in Mexico at the age of 21. Photo by Instagram/Maria Fernanda Robles.The last Instagram post of influencer Maria Fernanda Robles, who has died of drowning in Mexico at the age of 21. Photo by Instagram/Maria Fernanda Robles.
The last Instagram post of influencer Maria Fernanda Robles, who has died of drowning in Mexico at the age of 21. Photo by Instagram/Maria Fernanda Robles. | Instagram/Maria Fernanda Robles

Her death was confirmed by Falco in a statement to local news media. He wrote: “Dear friends, family and colleagues from the press, with deep sadness I have to announce the departure of my daughter María Fernanda. It is the greatest pain one can feel. I appreciate all the messages of support and love I have received.”

He added, “I beg for your understanding of the deep pain I’m feeling at this moment and I appreciate your empathy for respecting my privacy.”

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Two days after Robles’ death, Falco took to his Facebook page to record and upload a live video. In it, he urged any parents among his 8 million followers to “take care” of their children. He also expressed his sadness and said “my daughter left and left an emptiness here, I don’t know how long it will last to be able to half understand what is happening.”

What tributes have been left to María Fernanda Robles?

Many tributes have been left to Robles on her Instagram account, and also on the Facebook page of her stepfather. One person wrote: “Rest in Peace. My prayers to you and your family.”  Another said: “Up to heaven for your unforgettable and dear daughter Maria Fernanda.” A third person said: “She was a super cute and beautiful girl, may God have her in his holy glory." Many of Robles’ fans also simply posted the crying face emoji and offered their condolences to her family.

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