LIVERMORE, Calif. - Richard Loadholt was carpooling with others from Modesto and was on his way to work at UPS early Monday morning, when he spotted an awful sight: A young woman crawling along the road, leaving a trail of blood behind her, on rural Tesla Road in eastern Livermore.
It turned out that the 19-year-old Tracy woman, identified by the sheriff's office as Lizette Andrea Cuesta, had been stabbed, dumped out of a car and left to die.
She died later at the hospital, but not before telling the good Samaritans the names of the two people who attacked her.
About 12 hours later, Alameda County Sheriff's deputies, with help from Modesto Police and the the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, tracked down and arrested Modesto residents Daniel Gross, 19, and his girlfriend Melissa Leonardo, 25, on suspicion of murder.
A motive in the killing has not been released.
Loadholt told KCRA that he got out of the car and prayed with Cuesta, keeping her awake. She was in such bad shape, he couldn't even make out the color of her hair. She could barely stand.
"I just felt compelled by the spirit of love to do that,” Loadholt said.
He was with another co-worker, who wished to remain anonymous but said, "I gave her my blanket because it was really freezing cold out there. "She was soaked in blood.”
As investigators broke the news to the victim's family in Tracy, the good Samaritans said they have a message for her loved ones.
"She was a fighter," one said. "For real, she was fighting for her life."
"I hope it will be encouraging to her family to know that their daughter did have that spirit to fight," Loadholt said.
Little is known about the victim at this point. Her Facebook page says she was single and originally from Manteca. She attended middle and high school in San Jose and also had studied at San Jose City College. She reportedly moved to Tracy last fall.