A 19-year-old California woman led authorities to find the two people suspected of fatally stabbing her by giving police crucial information in her dying breaths.
Officials in Alameda County have identified the victim as Lizette Cuesta, who died after being airlifted to a hospital, reported Fox 40.
Around 2 a.m. on Monday, 911 dispatchers received a call about a woman lying in the middle of a remote road, Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Cuesta had been discovered by Richard Loadholt, who was carpooling to a shift at UPS with three friends. Authorities said the victim crawled nearly 100 yards along the roadway before Loadholt and his friends found her.
Loadholt told reporters the victim had been so severely stabbed that he could not even determine her hair color.
“She laid down for almost three minutes at one period, and we told her to get up. She knew she had to get up and I commend that,” Loadholt told Fox 40.
Cuesta was then flown to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where she died shortly after arrival. However, before the 19-year-old passed away, she delivered crucial information to police about her killers.
“This victim really tried to survive, and she fought and she fought,” Kelly told Fox 40. “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.”
Hours later, authorities arrested Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, in Modesto, California, about 50 miles away from where Cuesta was found.
Based on the investigation, officials believe Cuesta was stabbed, dumped out of a car and left for dead, Kelly said. In addition to stab wounds, the woman had other, unspecified, injuries.
“We know the three were friends and [Cuesta] got into the car consensually that night,” Kelly told Buzzfeed News. “The two suspects are in a relationship and live together but we are still gathering information as to why this happened.”
A motive for the killing is still under investigation.