Sheriff identifies Modesto woman who ‘clung to life’ to name murder suspects

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tk Photo: Courtesy Of Alameda County Sheriff's Office

A man and woman from Modesto were arrested on suspicion of murder Monday for the fatal stabbing of a woman found on a rural road near Livermore.

Emergency responders on Monday morning found Lizette Andrea Cuesta, 19, on Tesla Road after a 911 call reported a badly injured woman. Authorities said that Cuesta crawled nearly 100 yards before a passing motorist spotted her.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s office announced on Tuesday that Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, were booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Cuesta was airlifted to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and was able to identify the two suspects before succumbing to her injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

“Her internal fortitude, to stay alive and to fight, is pretty remarkable,” Sgt. Ray Kelly told The Chronicle on Monday. “This young woman clung to life when she was left for dead and was able to live for another couple hours and get us that information. Ultimately, that led us to these arrests.”

Sophie Haigney is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: sophie.haigney@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @SophieHaigney

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