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Dying woman drags herself 100 yards to a road and uses last words to identify her suspected killers

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 5 days ago Joseph Serna
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Video by CBS Sacramento

A dying woman who reportedly dragged herself to the side of a rural street used her final words to help authorities identify her killers, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office 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.”

a close up of a person © Alameda County Sheriff's Office

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.

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.

a person with collar shirt © Alameda County Sheriff's Office Cuesta had been dumped in Livermore and crawled 100 yards to the road where she was found, Bay Area TV station KTVU reported.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

UPDATES:

1:20 p.m.: This article was updated with the names and photos of the victim and suspects.

This article was originally published at 11:45 a.m.

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