Skylar Neese: A Complete Guide

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The story of Skylar Neese is one of profound tragedy, heartbreak, and lessons on the importance of friendship, trust, and awareness. This comprehensive account seeks to shed light on the life of Skylar Neese, the events leading to her untimely death, and the aftermath that has left an indelible mark on her community and beyond.

Skylar Neese: A Promising Young Life

Skylar Neese was born on February 10, 1996, in Morgantown, West Virginia. She was known for her bright personality, academic diligence, and deep friendships. Skylar’s parents, Dave and Mary Neese, described her as a compassionate and loving daughter who excelled in school and had dreams of pursuing a medical career.

Skylar’s social life was vibrant. She had a close-knit group of friends, including Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf. The trio was inseparable, often spending time together and sharing their teenage experiences. However, beneath the surface of their friendship lay tensions and secrets that would eventually lead to a devastating outcome.

The Disappearance

On the night of July 5, 2012, Skylar Neese sneaked out of her family’s apartment to meet her friends, Shelia and Rachel. Surveillance footage from the apartment complex captured Skylar getting into a car at around 12:30 AM. That was the last time she was seen alive.

When Skylar failed to return home, her parents reported her missing. Initially, authorities believed Skylar had run away. However, as days turned into weeks with no word from Skylar, the investigation intensified. The surveillance video provided a crucial lead, showing that Skylar had willingly left her home, which contradicted the runaway theory.

The Investigation

As the investigation progressed, inconsistencies in Shelia and Rachel’s stories began to emerge. Both girls initially claimed they had dropped Skylar off at the end of her street after driving around for a while. However, their stories did not align with the evidence gathered by the police.

Detectives employed various tactics to uncover the truth, including cell phone records, social media activity, and witness statements. It became evident that Shelia and Rachel were hiding something significant. The pressure mounted, and in January 2013, Rachel Shoaf confessed to the murder of Skylar Neese.

The Confession and Arrests

Rachel Shoaf’s confession was chilling. She revealed that she and Shelia Eddy had planned and executed the murder of Skylar Neese. The motive, according to Rachel, was disturbingly simple: they “didn’t like her” anymore. On the night of the murder, the girls lured Skylar into their car under the pretense of a joyride, drove to a remote area, and stabbed her to death. They then attempted to bury her body but were unsuccessful, leaving her remains concealed under branches.

Following Rachel’s confession, Shelia Eddy was arrested in May 2013. Both girls were charged with first-degree murder. In January 2014, Shelia Eddy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Rachel Shoaf, who had cooperated with the investigation, received a 30-year sentence with the possibility of parole after 10 years.

The Aftermath

The murder of Skylar Neese sent shockwaves through the small community of Star City, West Virginia. The case garnered national attention, highlighting the dark side of teenage relationships and the potential for violence among friends.

Skylar’s parents, Dave and Mary Neese, have worked tirelessly to honor their daughter’s memory. They advocated for “Skylar’s Law,” which mandates that all missing children reports in West Virginia be treated as an Amber Alert. This law was enacted to ensure that no family has to endure the same delays and uncertainties they faced when Skylar first disappeared.

Lessons Learned

The tragic story of Skylar Neese serves as a stark reminder of the complexities and dangers that can exist within friendships. It underscores the importance of awareness and communication among teenagers and their parents. The case also highlights the need for vigilance in recognizing the signs of troubled relationships and the importance of seeking help when something feels wrong.


Skylar Neese’s life was cut short by an unfathomable act of violence perpetrated by those she considered her closest friends. Her story is a powerful testament to the need for understanding and addressing the underlying issues that can lead to such tragedies. Through the efforts of her family and the lessons learned from her case, Skylar’s legacy continues to influence and inspire positive change.

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