LIVERMORE, California — A tough-as-nails teen who had been brutally stabbed clung ferociously to life long enough to crawl 100 yards to summon help and tell cops with her dying breath who her killers were.
Lizette Andrea Cuesta, 19, was found by a passing motorist lying in a pool of blood alongside a rural road where she had been dumped in northern California early Monday morning, the Alameda County Sheriff’s office said. Despite her injuries, she had crawled nearly 300 feet along the road to find help.
“She fought like a soldier, like a warrior,” Richard Loadholt, who discovered the teen, told Fox40.
Cuesta was airlifted to a hospital where she died from her wounds, but managed to give police “pertinent information about her attackers.”
That led cops to make the swift arrests of suspects Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, at their Modesto home where substantial evidence was recovered, cops said.
“From the time we discovered Lizette to the time we got to Modesto was critical in the preservation of the crime scene,” Sgt. Ray Kelly, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, told the Modesto Bee. “The evidence and Lizette’s statements to us helped make this investigation unfold very rapidly.”
Investigators are still trying to piece together a motive for Cuesta’s brutal slaying, but say she was acquainted with her alleged killers and had willingly gotten into a car with them earlier on the night she died.
Both suspects are being held in police custody on murder charges.