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California Teen Who Was Fatally Stabbed Used Her Final Moments To Identify Her Alleged Killers

California Teen Who Was Fatally Stabbed Used Her Final Moments To Identify Her Alleged Killers
3 months ago

Lizette Cuesta was stabbed multiple times and left for dead on the side of the road but the 19-year-old was not giving up without a fight. After dragging herself for over 100 yards on the remote road in Alameda County, California, the young woman was discovered by a group of people carpooling to work.  They called the police and before Cuesta passed away from her injuries she was able to identify her attackers.

Cuesta was able to name her attackers, Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25 because the three were friends. Cuesta willingly got into the car with the other two. What it not known is why Gross and Leonard turned on her.

Gross and Leonard are reportedly engaged after meeting at a fast food restaurant where they both worked.  They have been described as "hollow souls" by a customer of the restaurant. 

  Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office had this to say about Cuesta's final moments:

 This victim really tried to survive, and she fought and she fought. The last thing, we believe, that she was able to do was to point us in the direction of the people that killed her. And that’s pretty remarkable.

Kelly was hopeful that Cuesta's identification will help with a conviction. 

 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. 

A vigil was held for Cuesta with her friends and family. 

 Ray Cuesta was proud that his daughter  never stopped fighting. 

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. I love her.