Daniel Gross [left], and Melissa Leonardo [right], were arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of Lizette Cuesta, who police say used her last words to identify the suspected killers.
Police in Modesto California arrested Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, on suspicion of murder in the brutal slaying of teenager Lizette Cuesta.
The suspects were accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Cuesta multiple times and leaving her for dead just outside of Livermore in the early morning hours, authorities said.
Authorities said Cuesta fought for her life early Monday morning and used her last words to help identify the alleged killers. Police sources said indicate she’d been stabbed in the throat, and the first arriving California Highway Patrol officers noted she had slice marks on her neck.
The victim from the Tesla Road Homicide has been identified as: Lizette Andrea Cuesta, Age 19, from Tracy, CA. Lizette Cuesta was friends with the couple who wound up killing her
While a motive is not yet known, police described the suspects and victim as friends.
“On Monday, February 12, 2018, about 2:00 am, CHP-Dublin Officers responded to a 911 report of an injured woman on the ground near mile marker 8.49 on Tesla Road in rural Livermore,” a press release stated.
Dispatchers were told in the 911 call that a woman missing an arm and lying in the middle of Tesla Road, about 2 miles west of Carnegie Park, said Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim, later identified as 19-year-old Lizette Cuesta from Tracy, was not missing an arm, but she was pronounced dead shortly after being airlifted to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
Daniel Gross, 19, and 25-year-old Melissa Leonardo were arrested in Modesto after the victim gave officers a “compelling account” of who was responsible for her death, Sgt. Kelly said.
Gross and Leonardo, who were engaged, worked at a fast-food chain together. A former colleague of Leonardo’s described her as “moody at times,” but otherwise “She had emotional issues & was extremely jealous. He [Gross] had anger issues & talked about killing people who talked too much,” another colleague said of Leonardo and Gross.