Four UPS workers on what seemed to be an ordinary trip found a woman in the middle of the road covered in blood.
Lizette Cuesta was brutally stabbed and crawled nearly 100 yards to get to the road, where she had a chance of being seen by people in passing cars. That is where the UPS drivers found her.
The 19-year-old’s will to live and bring her killers to justice was something cops rarely have ever seen and led to the arrests just a few hours after the woman was declared dead.
“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,” Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said.
San Francisco news station KRON reported Monday that authorities said it appears Cuesta was dumped from a car and left for dead until the UPS drivers found her at 2 a.m and called 911. She was airlifted to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where she pronounced dead about 4:30 a.m.
The evidence and Cuesta’s declaration led to the arrests of Melissa Leonardo, 25, and Daniel Gross, 19. The suspects were taken into custody on charges of murder.
“Her internal fortitude, to stay alive and to fight, is pretty remarkable,” Sgt. Ray Kelly told the San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”
Authorities have not released any information on a possible motive, but they said Cuesta was a friend of the suspects, who are apparently engaged.