Photo from: www.dailymail.co.uk
A couple of days ago I opened my computer and the first face that I saw was the face of the young lady in the picture above with a heading reading, “Fatally Injured 19-Year-Old Identifies Her Killers Using Her Last Breath”. I was drawn to this story instantly after reading that headline. At the time there wasn’t much about motive or even what happened until recently.
In the wee hours of the morning, Lizette Andrea Cuesta was found on the side of the road by 4 UPS workers. She’d managed to drag herself to the edge of the road, after being brutally beaten and stabbed. Richard Loadholt, called the police to the scene. He is quoted in a news video saying that “She just, you know, that she felt like she was going to die. I was like, no you’re not. You’re not going to”. You can watch that video here: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lizette+cuesta&&view=detail&mid=6B20D35BFC93A10267C36B20D35BFC93A10267C3&&FORM=VRDGAR The video also features Cuesta’s uncle and father remembering her and talking about her murder.
Loadholt and his coworkers waited there with Cuesta until the police arrived on the scene. They prayed for her as she lay on the ground bleeding. It is said that she was covered in so much blood that they couldn’t identify the color of her hair. After the police arrived on the scene, Cuesta was able to name her attackers, 19-year-old Daniel Gross and 25-year-old Melissa Leonardo. Shortly after giving police this information, she had to be life-flighted to a hospital where she later died. Gross and Leonardo have been arrested for the murder of Lizette Cuesta.
(Leonardo on the left and Gross on the right)
Daniel Gross has confessed that he solely attacked Cuesta. He insists that Melissa Leonardo was only involved because she drove the car. He also claims that he was in a relationship with both Cuesta and Leonardo. Gross is also claiming that he acted in self-defense against Cuesta. Both Gross and Leonardo appeared in court to enter their pleas on Thursday, February 15.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Cuesta family at this time. I hope that they are able to heal after such a devastating loss. I don’t think that anything that Lizette Cuesta did warranted these people to take her life. It was senseless, and I honestly hope that neither of them ever sees the light of day again. I admire Cuesta’s courage, strength and determination to live long enough so that her killers would be brought to justice. Now that’s a badass woman right there! May she rest in peace.