Stabbing victim moments from death tells cops who killed her

A 19-year-old California woman who was stabbed multiple times and left for dead was able to tell police who killed her before she died from her injuries.

As a result, the alleged killers have been apprehended.

Police responded to a 911 call around 2 a.m. Monday about a woman missing an arm and lying in the middle of a remote back road in Livermore.

When police arrived they discovered the victim Lizette Andrea Cuesta, whose arm was still intact, suffering from life-threatening stab wounds and other injuries, according to an Alameda County Sheriff's Office press release.

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Lizette Cuesta's homicide case
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Lizette Cuesta's homicide case

Lizette Andrea Cuesta, a 19-year-old California woman, was stabbed multiple times and left for dead. She was able to tell police who killed her before she died from her injuries.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff)

The suspects arrested for the murder of Lizette Cuesta are identified as: -Daniel Gross, Age 19, Modesto, CA -Melissa Leonardo, Age 25, Modesto, CA Both suspects are in custody at Santa Rita Jail.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff)
The suspects arrested for the murder of Lizette Cuesta are identified as: -Daniel Gross, Age 19, Modesto, CA -Melissa Leonardo, Age 25, Modesto, CA Both suspects are in custody at Santa Rita Jail.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff)

On Monday, February 12, 2018, about 2:00 am, CHP-Dublin Officers responded to a 911 report of an injured woman on the ground on Tesla Road in rural Livermore.

CHP Officers and Alameda County Fire Paramedics responded to the scene and discovered a 19-year-old woman suffering from life threatening stab wounds and other injuries. Prior to her death, she was able to provide us with pertinent information about her attackers.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)

On Monday, February 12, 2018, about 2:00 am, CHP-Dublin Officers responded to a 911 report of an injured woman on the ground on Tesla Road in rural Livermore.

CHP Officers and Alameda County Fire Paramedics responded to the scene and discovered a 19-year-old woman suffering from life threatening stab wounds and other injuries. Prior to her death, she was able to provide us with pertinent information about her attackers.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)

On Monday, February 12, 2018, about 2:00 am, CHP-Dublin Officers responded to a 911 report of an injured woman on the ground on Tesla Road in rural Livermore.

CHP Officers and Alameda County Fire Paramedics responded to the scene and discovered a 19-year-old woman suffering from life threatening stab wounds and other injuries. Prior to her death, she was able to provide us with pertinent information about her attackers.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)

On Monday, February 12, 2018, about 2:00 am, CHP-Dublin Officers responded to a 911 report of an injured woman on the ground on Tesla Road in rural Livermore.

CHP Officers and Alameda County Fire Paramedics responded to the scene and discovered a 19-year-old woman suffering from life threatening stab wounds and other injuries. Prior to her death, she was able to provide us with pertinent information about her attackers.

(Photo: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)

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Authorities said a blood trail showed Cuesta crawled nearly 100 yards along the roadway before being discovered by a passing motorist, Sgt. Ray Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle.

She was airlifted to Eden Hospital Trauma in Castro Valley but died within hours.

Prior to her death, Cuesta was able to provide investigators with a "compelling account" of who was responsible for her stabbing, Sgt. Kelly told the Chronicle.

"I've been around a long time, and I can only think of two or three times that I'm aware of in our agency that we've been able to get a dying declaration like that," Kelly said.

Cuesta was able to identify the male suspect before she died, and told police say she knew both suspects, KCRA reports.

That information led to the arrest of Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, police announced Tuesday afternoon.

They were arrested at a residence in Modesto and taken to the Santa Rita Jail. They will soon be transported to Alameda County to face murder charges.

Kelly told the outlet that a preliminary investigation shows Cuesta was stabbed, dumped out of a car and left for dead.

"Her internal fortitude, to stay alive and to fight, is pretty remarkable," Kelly said. "This young woman clung to life when she was left for dead and was able to live for another couple hours and get us that information. Ultimately that led to these arrests."

Sgt. Kelly thinks at one point Cuesta was likely tied up, KCRA reports.

A motive for the attack has not been revealed.

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