With Last Words, Bloodied Teen Points Cops to Alleged Killers

Lizette Cuesta reportedly gave man's name before dying
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2018 9:55 AM CST
With Last Words, Bloodied Teen Points Cops to Alleged Killers
Melissa Leonardo of Modesto, Calif.   (Alameda County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Stabbed multiple times and left on the side of a road, Lizette Cuesta crawled 100 yards before she was spotted by UPS employees on their way to work around 2am Monday. There was little they could do for her—Cuesta was so bloody, it was impossible to make out her hair color, per BuzzFeed. But they kept her alert until help arrived, when a helicopter took her to a hospital, reports KTVU. There, the 19-year-old died, but not before using her last words to point authorities to her alleged killers. "She was really suffering but … she stayed present and gave us compelling information," says Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. That information—KTVU reports it included the name of a man—led police to Modesto, where they arrested two people Kelly describes as friends of Cuesta who'd picked her up in a car.

Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, who reportedly live together and are engaged, are now being held in Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of murder. "When they did this to her they figured, you know, they got away with it," Cuesta's father tells CBS News. "She didn't let them get away with it." Authorities—who believe Cuesta was at one point tied up—have yet to provide a motive for the killing, and friends are at a loss. "She was the nicest person," one tells FOX40. "What could she have done?" A friend of Gross, meanwhile, describes Leonardo as a jealous person who "got physical with [Gross] inside of a store for looking at another female." A man who says he considers Leonardo his sister says she collects knives but would never hurt anyone. Days before Cuesta's murder she'd discussed Gross talking to another woman, the friend says, but she made a joke about it. (Read more murder stories.)

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