Friends, family mourn 19-year-old Livermore homicide victim


After being brutally stabbed and dumped on the side of a remote road in California, a 19-year-old woman fought to stay alive and help authorities identify her killers, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Suffering from multiple life-threatening stab wounds and other injuries, Lizette Andrea Cuesta, 19, was still able to drag herself to the side of a road in Livermore.

The teen was found on the Livermore roadside by two passers-by, who rushed to call emergency services.

Cuesta was found severely injured by motorist Richard Loadholt and a friend who were driving by at about 2am.

He told KCRA-TV in Sacramento he gave her a blanket and kept her awake and talking until help arrived. 'I think she showed incredible internal strength to get through this and to live for as long as she did live'.

"Whenever Liz came to this park, 'Oh, there's Liz!' You know, always positive, I would look forward to seeing her", he said. He said he hopes her family finds some comfort in knowing that she fought for life the entire time.

The teenager had crawled almost 100 yards to the roadside, leaving a trail of blood behind her.

When they got there, they decided the best option was to airlift the dying woman to a hospital with an advanced trauma center. "Lizette's compelling statement to the first responders allowed us to get to Modesto in a timely manner", said Sgt. 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", Kelly said.

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Cuesta was airlifted to Eden Hospital where she made a "dying declaration".

Two suspects were arrested Monday afternoon in Modesto: 19-year-old Daniel Gross and 25-year-old Melissa Leonardo.

Both suspects are in custody at Santa Rita Jail. Investigators believe they knew the victim and targeted her for this vicious crime.

'The two suspects are in a relationship and live together but we are still gathering information as to why this happened'.

Cuesta, who studied at San Jose City College, loved to skateboard, her aunt, Amparo Lopez, told BuzzFeed News. "We love her, she will always be in our hearts and it's really hard".

"I'm proud of her", Ray said.

To date it remained unclear in what capacity she had known her killers, the frequency of their friendship and what may have transpired moments leading up to the teen being set on.