Skylar Neese Stabbed by ‘Best Friends’By: Mike Fossum - July 19, 2014
On July 6, 2012, 16-year-old Star City, West Virginia high school student Skylar Neese was stabbed to death by best friends Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf.
After Neese went missing, authorities initially concluded that the teen had likely overdosed on heroin at a party, people around her panicked, and her body was hidden. Though, after a six month investigation, Shoaf confessed to murdering Neese, along with Eddy. The admitted motive was plainly that the two “just didn’t like her.”
At 12:31 a.m. on July 6, 2012, surveillance video from the apartment complex Neese lived at with her parents showed that the teen left the building through her bedroom window. Neese’s father David noted that the window was left open and that the cellphone charger was left behind, which was indicative of a planned return.
When Neese failed to come home, authorities at first classified the teen as a runaway. The FBI got involved in the search for Neese in September, 2012, but were unable to solve the mystery of the teen’s disappearance.
The day after the murder, Eddy helped Skylar Neese’s parents canvass the neighborhood looking for Skylar, while Shoaf left for Catholic summer camp for two weeks. In December, 2012, Shoaf had a nervous breakdown and was committed to a local psychiatric hospital, barring her from any contact with Eddy.
Upon her discharge in early January, Shoaf confessed to her attorney and authorities that she and Eddy stabbed Skylar Neese to death. Shoaf led police to Neese’s body, was was located in Wayne Township, Pennsylvania, roughly 30 miles from Neese’s apartment. Shoaf wore a wire during a meeting with Eddy, though Eddy didn’t incriminate herself.
State Police Corp. Ronnie Gaskin asked Shoaf why they killed Skylar, and her only answer was, “We just didn’t like her.”
Rachel Shoaf was found guilty of second-degree murder, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in February. Shelia Eddy struck a deal with prosecutors, and plead guilty to first degree murder with mercy, and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
Here is an extended clip of Shoaf’s sentencing:
The murder prompted an Amber Alert amendment called “Skylar’s Law,” and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the legislation into law in May, 2013. Skylar’s Law calls for immediate public announcements when any child is reported missing and in danger, regardless of whether the child is believed to have been kidnapped.
One of Neese’s final tweets:
Image via Wikimedia Commons