Many details about the night are unknown at this moment and may remain that way. However, it is believed that the woman was friends with the couple and got into their car willingly.
But at some point, the ride turned deadly and she was left on the road, in the freezing darkness, stabbed multiple times and fighting for her life for hours. The bloody trail she left behind as she crawled for help indicated that she had managed to get a full 100 yards or more before people passing by for work finally spotted her and stopped to help.
One of those who stopped to help wished to remain unidentified, but told KRON 4 that at first they thought it was an animal on the side of the road. It wasn’t until she got up on all fours and called out that they realized the awful truth.
The good Samaritan added that the victim, later identified as Lizette Cuesta, had been stabbed in the throat, her chest was covered with blood, and her hair was mangled and covered in blood — it was like she’d stepped out of a scene in a horror movie.
TRAGIC: The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has identified 19-year-old Lizette Andrea Cuesta as the victim of Monday’s deadly stabbing.The suspects arrested for the murder of Lizette Cuesta are identified as 19-year-old Daniel Gross and 25-year-old Melissa Leonardo, both are from Modesto.Story: http://kron4.com/2018/02/13/teen-brutally-stabbed-left-for-dead-near-livermore-identified/
Опубліковано KRON 4 News Вівторок, 13 лютого 2018 р.
The woman stayed in the car praying for Cuesta, while her traveling companion was at Cuesta’s side, offering assistance, praying with her, and flagging down other passersby to call for help.
Cuesta continued to fight to survive, and that wasn’t all. She fought for justice, repeatedly naming those responsible, although the unidentified good Samaritan stated she didn’t remember them.
Cuesta continued her battle after police arrived, but despite her best efforts and those of all who helped, she was pronounced dead at the hospital. But before she died, her final words again named those responsible and the police took note of it.
Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office told SFGate just how amazing that was and how much of a difference it would make in getting justice for the 19-year-old woman.
“I’ve been around a long time, and I can only think of two to three times that I’m aware of in our agency that we’ve been able to get a dying declaration like that. A dying declaration is a very compelling piece of evidence that’s recognized in the court to be very credible and reliable information.”
Lizette Cuesta’s father, Ray Cuesta, devasted at her loss, was also very proud of his daughter, telling CBS SF, “I’m proud of her. She didn’t give up. She won. She showed them.”
“I know she passed away, but when they did this to her, they figured they got away with it. She didn’t let them get away with it. She brought peace to herself and peace to me and my family.”
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office was able to take Cuesta’s dying declaration and use it to make two arrests, which they announced on Facebook as Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25.
HOMICIDE SUSPECTS ARRESTED in the murder of Lizette Cuesta. – Daniel Gross, Age 19, Modesto, CA. – Melissa Leonardo, Age 25, Modesto, CA. Both suspects are in custody at Santa Rita Jail.
Comments from the public indicated wishes for nothing but harsh treatment for the suspects.
In the meantime, friends and family are trying to put the pieces together as they mourn the loss of the brave young woman, remembered by her father and others as strong, a fighter, and a bright light that dimmed far too soon.
To help the family with expenses, a GoFundMe was set up. It has raised more than $9,000 of the $30,000 goal in less than 24 hours.
More than two hundred people quickly made donations as word of the tragedy spread, with many leaving comments of condolence and concern for the family on the campaign’s page.