Who is Skylar Neese
She was a 16-year-old honor student, she was known to have a love for reading and had a very active social life. Her social life was tied with her best friends Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf who both attended University High School with Skylar Neese. Skylar had known Shelia since she was eight years old and Shelia had met Racheal when they were in their freshman year of high school.
They all lived in Morgantown, West Virginia and the three girls were considered to be inseparable. It was noted that Skylar served as an emotional rock for the two other girls as both Shelia and Racheal were children of their parents being divorce. But Skylar’s mom Mary had accepted Shelia as if she was one of their own. Mary Neese recalls that Shelia always came over and never knocked.
Although Rachel was a bit of an opposite of Shelia, Racheal was well-liked and enjoyed in participating in the school plays. Rachael came from a strict catholic family and as such she idolized Shelia for her wild and carefree attitude.
The internet is forever and because of that there are accounts on multiple social media platforms that outline the tension that was brewing in the friend group. Skylar took to twitter posting about how someone was a twofaced and that they thought she would not find out insinuating that she was talking about her friends.
Another tweet in spring states “too bad my friends are having lives without me”; it appeared as though Shelia and Racheal were becoming closer without Skylar. An old classmate of the girls recalls a time in sophomore year where Rachel showed him an argument that Shelia and Skylar were having on a three-way call without Skylar knowing.
It was the early morning of July 6th, 2012 when the Neese’s apartment security footage caught a grainy black and white video of Skylar getting into an unidentified sedan. It was that morning that Skylar did not report for work and that triggered the parents of Skylar as she was a responsible teen. The Neese’s discovered that Skylar phone charger, toothbrush, and her toiletries were all still in her room so they knew she did not run away.
They immediately assumed foul play and contacted the police to report that their daughter was missing. Later that same day, Shelia called Neese family and told them that her, Skylar and Racheal had snuck out the night before and that they drove around Star City, getting high but that they dropped her back off at the house.
Mary recalled the story and mentions how they dropped her off at the end of the road because Skylar did not want to wake up her parents by trying to sneak back in.
Eddy and her mother helped canvass the neighborhood looking Skylar on July 7th, meanwhile Rachal was away at a catholic summer camp for two weeks. The rumors started to pour in that Skylar had gone to a house party and overdoses on heroin. One of the investigators mentions how people told him that teenager died at a party and people panicked and disposed of the body.
But police officer Jessica Colebank remembered that all their stories were the same and that no story is the same unless you rehearsed it. She felt in her gut that Sheila was acting weird and that Racheal was scared to death about something. But they had no legitimate reason to cause to arrest either of the girls and had to keep investigating.
Twitter and The Car
A state trooper Chris Berry believed that no murderer could conceal their crime for very long as he noticed murderers would brag about their deeds at some point. Berry created a fake twitter account and scoured the twitter and Facebook, linking up with the high school girls and kids in the social network of the three girls to gain any type of insight to the girls.
Berry noticed that Shelia was very perky online and was constantly posting whereas Racheal was quieter and more reserved in her positing online. Neither of the girls hinted that they were upset or sad at their friend disappearing. He always noticed that some of Shelia post were odd, such as the tweet that said “no one on this earth can handle me and Racheal if you think you can you’re wrong.” As authorities continue to bring them the both of them in for interviews the more secluded the two of them became and started to rely more on each other.
Authorities finally cross-reference the surveillance footage from a nearby business and realized that they found the same car. The girls were caught in a big lie but unfortunately the police did not have much to charge them and they would need a confession.
With all the stress and strain that the investigation put on the girls had finally taken its toll on both of them. On December 28, 2012, a frantic parent called 911 stating that her daughter was out of control. She was screaming, hitting and running through the neighborhood. That girl was Racheal and she could be heard in the background crying uncontrollably asking for the phone and that it was over.
Racheal ready to confess was picked up by the local police and she immediately blurted out to the cops that they had stabbed her.
Racheal explains to the local police that her and Shelia had planned the murder of Skylar about a month earlier, in science class one random day. They decided to carry out the murder just before Racheal left for summer camp. And on the night of the murder Racheal grabbed her dad’s shovel from the house and Shelia took two knives from her mom’s kitchen. They also took cleaning supplies and a change of clothes.
Both girls went to pick up Skylar and that Skylar had assumed they were just going to drive around and have fun. As the three of them had previously went over the state line to a small town to smoke weed in the local woods.
Both Racheal and Shelia wore hoodies to conceal the knives that they both were hiding. Once they got near the woods were Skylar thought they were going to smoke the two girls got behind her and Shelia said “on three”.
They both pounced on Skylar and started to attack her, Shelia mentioned that at one point Skylar had got away but that they stabbed her in the knee so she could not run very far again. After being stabbed a dozen time, it was reported by the girls that Skylar had asked “why?” with her last dying breath.
Authorities later discovered the reason to the why was simply because they did not like her as Racheal told the police.
In early January 2013, Racheal led investigators to the woods where she and Shelia had killed Skylar. The location was covered in snow and she could not remember the exact location. Skylar body was not initially found but about a week later they were able to find Skylar body. Skylar body was nearly unidentifiable and on March 13 the crime lab was able to officially confirm that the body was indeed Skylar Neese.
Shelia was later arrested in the parking lot of a cracker barrel and charged with first-degree murder. Shelia went on to plead guilty in January 2014 where she received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Racheal Shoaf was found guilty with second-degree murder and received a 30-year sentence.
The Silver Lining
The Neese family helped passed a law called Skylar’s Law which required that the state issued an Amber Alert for all missing children even those that are believed to not have been kidnap. Neese family understand that although this law may not have saved their daughter life, but that the new system can help save more lives than those only believed to have been kidnap.
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