Lizette Cuesta was mortally wounded and bleeding profusely from stab wounds, unable to walk upright, but still, the teenager managed to drag herself more than 100 yards to the side of a desolate road and use her last words to identify her alleged killers.
The incident happened in California this week, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that the woman was found bloody and badly injured on the side of a rural road in the town of Livermore. People passing in a car saw the teenager, called the police, and stayed by the teenager’s side until paramedics could arrive.
Lizette Cuesta was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where she died of her wounds, but not before speaking to police and identifying the couple she said was responsible for her stabbing.
“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.”
After Cuesta’s deathbed identification, police arrested 19-year-old Daniel Gross and 25-year-old Melissa Leonardo on suspicion of murder. Police have not released a potential motive for the attack but did reveal some details of the harrowing ordeal Cuesta suffered before her death. According to NBC News, the 19-year-old victim was left out in the cold for several hours before she was able to crawl back to a desolate road where she could be found.
Family members said they were devastated at Cuesta’s death and could not imagine why anyone would want to hurt the teenager, who friends told Fox 40 was the nicest person they knew.
But a picture has emerged of anger issues with one of the alleged killers. As Newser noted, friends of Gross did say that Leonardo was a jealous person and got physical with Gross for looking at another woman. Another man who said he looks at Leonardo like a sister said the woman collected knives but did not believe she was capable of hurting anyone.
The murder of Lizette Cuesta has captured nationwide attention this week, with coverage in news outlets across the country for the strange nature of her death and her amazing attempts to survive the horrific injuries. Both Gross and Leonardo remain in jail on suspicion of murder.