The case of

Skylar Neese

Victim

Skylar Neese

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

1996-02-10

Victim Age

16

Date Reported

2012-07-07

Date of Death

2012-07-06

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

Wayne Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania

Body Location

Cin Wayne Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania

Date of Conviction

2013

Body Discovered Date

2013-01-16

Murderer

Rachel Shoaf, Shelia Eddy

Who was Skylar Neese?

Skylar Annette Neese was born February 10, 1996 to parents Mary and Dave Neese. Together, they lived in Star City, West Virginia. She was an honor student at University High School and had dreams of becoming a criminal defense lawyer. She worked at Wendy’s and was described as an avid reader, social and bubbly person.

Skylar had the misfortune of being friends with Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf, her murderers. The three girls had recently had a falling out.

Lured Out

On July 5, 2012, Skylar Neese returned home from her job at Wendy’s. Both Eddy and Shoaf were texting her and attempting to convince her to sneak out with them to smoke marijuana. Eventually, Skylar agreed. Apartment surveillance video would capture the teenage girl exiting her apartment’s bedroom window at 12:30am, July 6th, and crossing the street to get into the back of Eddy’s sedan.

Skylar Neese couldn’t know that Shelia Eddy and Shoaf had “grown tired” of her, and decided that they wanted to murder her. They’d planned that night for months, transforming the back of Eddy’s car into a “serial killer’s kit,” which included paper towels, cleaning clothes, bleach, a shovel, and a change of clothes each. They both had long kitchen knives hidden in their pockets.

The girls took Skylar to their planned location; a heavily wooded area just over the Pennsylvania border; it was a spot they’d gone to hang out and smoke in the past, so Skylar wasn’t suspicious. The girls got out but pretended to have left the lighter in the car.

When Skylar Neese turned around to get it, Eddy and Shoaf counted to three and attacked Skylar with the knives hidden in their pockets.

Skylar tried to run, but Shoaf tackled her to the ground, and they stabbed her knee so she couldn’t run anymore. Skylar got the knife from Shoaf and cut her ankle at one point, but Eddy continued to stab Skylar. Her last word would be directed at both of her supposed friends: “Why?”

The girls would stab Skylar Neese dozens of times until, according to Shoaf, “Neese’s neck stopped making gurgling sounds.”

Little Evidence Despite Odd Behavior

After Skylar Neese was dead, Eddy and Shoaf attempted to bury a grave. They found that the dirt was too hard and rocky however, and so they covered Skylar’s body with branches, dirt, and rocks. Her body was only a few feet from the road.

The two then returned to the car to clean themselves and the murder scene. They would return home and feign shock and surprise when it was revealed that Skylar Neese was missing. Though there were some inconsistencies in the story, such as there being no surveillance of Eddy’s car returning to the apartment to drop Skylar back off as claimed, and despite the strange, shifty behavior displayed by girls’ during interrogation, law enforcement would not have enough evidence to charge either with Skylar’s disappearance.

The day following her murder, her parents discovered that she had snuck out the night before but had left her cell phone charger and the window unlocked, clearly planning to return. However, when she missed work for the first time ever, they realized something was very wrong and contacted law enforcement. At the time, Neese was simply considered a runaway.

Every day for months after Skylar Neese’s disappearance, Eddy would call the Neese parents and ask for updates. Whether she just wanted to appear innocent or just enjoyed listening to the pain in their voices, Eddy has never clarified. She also posted on social media, calling Skylar her “best friend” who had no idea how much she’d “miss her.” Eddy would help the family distribute missing person flyers and pretend to cry to be comforted by Skylar’s grieving mother, Mary Neese.

Star City police officer Jessica Colebank, who interviewed both girls, found that Shelia Eddy’s demeanor st be suspiciously blank and “iced over.” Meanwhile, Rachel Shoaf appeared extremely nervous and anxious. Colebank would later say that, “Everything in my gut was, ‘Sheila is acting wrong. Rachel is scared to death.'”

Shoaf Buckles Under Pressure

Around six months after the murder, the pressure on Eddy and Shoaf was increasing. The police had informed the Neese parents that the girls’ knew something and were holding back information, but no one was quite ready for the confession that happened next.

The increased pressure was clearly affecting Rachel Shoaf; so much so, that her divorced parents even moved back in together in order to support their daughter. However, Rachel’s behavior would become increasingly erratic until the night of December 28th, 2012. Rachel Shoaf had what appeared to be a nervous breakdown. Her mother called 911, where she would frantically described that her 16-year old daughter was out of control. “She’s hitting us, she’s screaming, she’s running through the neighborhood.” Rachel Shoaf was picked up and committed to a local psychiatric hospital for several days.

When she was discharged on Jan. 3, 2013, Shoaf immediately called and confessed to her attorney, who took her to the police station. Shoaf gave a full confession to the police of what happened, and gave the only explanation for what they’d ever give: they “just didn’t like her.”

After the confession, Shoaf led police to Skylar Neese’s body. When police searched Eddy’s car, they found Neese’s blood, and both girls were arrested and charged with Skylar Neese’s murder.

Trial

On May 1, 2013, as part of a plea deal, Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. She received 30 years in prison, and will become eligible for parole next year in 2023.

Shelia Eddy was publically identified as the second perpetrator on September 4, 2013, and would be tried as an adult. She faced a charge of kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and first degree murder. She pleaded not guilty.

However, under threat of additional charges, Eddy changed her mind and pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder charge. She expressed absolutely no remorse and was given a life sentence, but eligible for parole after only 15 years. Eddy is currently serving out life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2028.

“Skylar’s Law”

Due to Skylar Neese’s brutal murder case, the Neese Family would petition and help pass Skylar’s Law, which requires the state to issue an Amber Alert for all missing children, not just those believed to be kidnapped. It’s just one of the ways that David Neese and Mary Neese work to honor and remember their 16-year-old girl, who would never see 17.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happened to Skylar Neese?

A: Skylar Neese was stabbed to death by her two best friends, Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf.

Q: How many times did they stab Skylar Neese?

A: Skylar Neese was stabbed dozens of times until “her throat stopped making those weird noises.”

Q: What happened to Skylar Neese’s killers?

A: Rachel Shoaf is serving a 30-year sentence and is eligible for parole next year. Shelia Eddy is serving a life sentence and will be eligible for parole after 15 years, which is in 2028.

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