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Modesto couple identified in Tracy woman’s slaying

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office identified the Modesto couple Tuesday that was arrested after a 19-year-old woman, on her death bed, named one of them as a suspect, investigators.

Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, were arrested Monday at the home where they live in Modesto. The two are believed to be in a dating relationship, according to the sheriff’s office. Both are being held in the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County.

Lizette Andrea Cuesta, 19, was left still alive on the side of a road outside Livermore after she was stabbed multiple times, deputies said.

Cuesta crawled about 100 yards up to Tesla Road, near Interstate 580, and was found about 2 a.m. Monday by two good Samaritans from Modesto who were on their way to work.

The coworkers tried to comfort Cuesta, grabbed a blanket for her in the cold darkness and said a prayer with her until first responders arrived.

Cuesta was taken by helicopter to Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, where she gave investigators what’s known as a “dying declaration.” She named Gross as a suspect, officers said.

Two hours later, Cuesta died.

Investigators believe Cuesta got into the suspects’ car willingly, according to Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly, but have not detailed what led up to the deadly stabbing.

Detectives will look at video evidence during the investigation, and officers added that there was “tremendous evidence” found at the crime scene, Kelly said.

No additional details have been released.

Stay with KCRA for updates.

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Article source: http://www.kcra.com/article/suspects-identified-in-tracy-womans-slaying/17791682

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