A dying woman who reportedly dragged herself 100 yards to the side of a rural road to be rescued used her last words to help authorities identify her killers, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department said.
The 19-year-old woman, identified as Lizette Andrea Cuesta, of Tracy, was found bloody and suffering from life-threatening stab wounds and other injuries on the side of rural Tesla Road in Livermore about 2 a.m. Monday, authorities said.
She was spotted by people in a passing vehicle who called police. The woman was airlifted to a hospital, where she spoke with investigators before she died, the Sheriff’s Office said.
“This victim really, really tried to survive. She fought,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly. “The last thing we believe she was able to do was point us in the direction of the people that killed her, and that’s pretty remarkable.”
Authorities used the information the victim provided to arrest Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, both of Modesto, on suspicion of murder, officials said.
Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, were arrested on suspicion of murder. (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office)
One of the men who found the dying woman, Richard Loadholt, told KCRA-TV in Sacramento that he prayed with her and talked to her to keep her conscious as long as he could.
“I hope it’ll be encouraging to their family that their daughter did have the spirit to fight,” he said.
Cuesta had been dumped in Livermore and crawled 100 yards to the road where she was found, Bay Area TV station KTVU reported.