Suspect arrested in brutal killing of teen left for dead 'not mad at her,' report says

One of the two suspects arrested in the brutal killing of a 19-year-old woman left for dead near a rural road outside San Francisco reportedly said in a jailhouse interview that he is not mad at her and did not mean to kill her.

Daniel Gross, 19, told KTVU in an exclusive jailhouse interview that he did not plan “to do this at all” and that he "snapped."

“I feel like s---,” he reportedly said, sitting inside Santa Rita Jail in the town of Dublin, Calif. “I f---ing hate myself, you know?  I wish I could go back in time and that this never happened.”

Lizette Cuesta, 19, was found early Monday with multiple stab wounds and laying in the middle of Tesla Road in Livermore, which is outside San Francisco.

The scene was gruesome. There was nearly a 100-yard trail of blood leading to the road. One of the men who first spotted her said he could not determine her hair color due to the amount of blood.

Cuesta was credited by the men who found her and authorities for her determination to survive. Gross was reportedly asked how Cuesta ended up in that condition, and he replied, “I’d rather not get into that.”

Gross told the station that he acted in self-defense.  He said Cuesta elbowed him in the ribs and she was armed with a knife. He said she did not use the weapon on him.

Cuesta was eventually airlifted to Eden Hospital where authorities said she made a “dying declaration,” and ID'd two suspects in her killing.

The declaration led to a “tremendous” amount of evidence and the arrests of Daniel Gross, 19, and Melissa Leonardo, 25, at their south Modesto home, The Modesto Bee reported.

“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. “A dying declaration is a very compelling piece of evidence that’s recognized in the court to be very credible and reliable information.”

Kelly did not give a suspected motive in the crime. Gross told KTVU that the two met at their jobs a Carl’s Jr. and their relationship became sexual. He said the two smoked marijuana and had sex the night she was killed.

Leonardo, who has been identified as his girlfriend in earlier reports, knew about his relationship with Cuesta and was OK with it, he told the station.

He told the station that Leonardo played no role in the killing, other than driving the car to Livermore.

Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.