On the night of July 6, 2012, 16-year-old Skylar Neese disappeared from her home in Star City, West Virginia. Skylar, at the time, was a sociable 4.0 student who worked a part-time job at a fast-food restaurant.
Her father, Dave Neese, tells ABC News’ 20/20, “Skylar was a very bubbly person… She was also very loyal to her friends, the people she thought were her friends.”
For months, Neese’s disappearance left everyone confused. Then, six months later, two of her best friends, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy, came forward with news that would shock the town and country at large.
Read on to learn more about the murder of Skylar Neese.
1. She Snuck out to Meet Her Two Best Friends the Night of Her Murder
On the night of July 6, 2012, Skylar returned home from her job at Wendy’s.
Around 12:30am, she snuck out of her bedroom window to meet up with Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy.
Multiple outlets report that Neese had recently had a falling out with Shoaf and Eddy and was hesitant to spend the night hanging out with them. However, she eventually relented and agreed to leave her home to spend time with the girls.
Together, the three drove to a spot near the Pennslyvania state border, where they often smoked marijuana. It was after Neese went to the car to fetch a lighter that her two best friends began stabbing her.
2. Shoaf Admitted That She and Eddy Murdered Neese in December 2012
For years, Skylar Neese and her two best friends, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy, were inseparable. But as time went on, their relationship soured. Just days before her murder, Neese took to Twitter to write, “It really doesn’t take much to p*** me off,” and, “Sick of being at f****** home. Thanks ‘friends,’ love hanging out with you all too.” The day before she died, she tweeted, “”you doing s*** like that is why I can NEVER completely trust you.”
According to Ranker, Eddy and Shoaf had planned Neese’s murder for months. The night of the killing, they brought with them a “serial killer” kit consisting of towels, bleach, a shovel, and a change of clothes. They also packed the knives that would be used in Neese’s murder.
Afterwards, the girls covered Neese’s body with branches and took her to a secluded area in the woods across the Pennsylvania border.
3. Shoaf Received a Sentence of Between 10 and 30 Years
On December 28, 2012, Shoaf suffered a nervous breakdown and was taken to a local psychiatric hospital, where she remained for six days. When she was discharged, she confessed what she had done to authorities. She then agreed to lead police to Neese’s body.
At the time, Corporal Ronnie Gaskin told ABC News, “We never encountered anything that led us to believe that these two girls conspired with one another to commit premeditated murder…”
Shoaf was eventually tried as an adult. In January 2014, she received a sentence of 30 years, with eligibility for parole in 10 years.
4. Eddy Received a Sentence of 15 Years to Life in Prison
Shelia Eddy had been friends with Neese since they were just 8. Dave Neese tells ABC, “She was like a part of our family. She really was… I mean, just like one of our kids.”
According to the Daily Mail, both Eddy and Shoaf remained active on social media in the 10 months between Neese’s stabbing and their arrest.
In fact, Eddy was active on social media after Neese’s disappearance, and often posted about her “missing” friend.
On November 5, 2012, Shelia Eddy wrote on Twitter, “No one on this earth can handle ma and rachel if you think you can you’re wrong.”
On April 1, 2013, she wrote another tweet that read, “We really did go on three.”
However, the way Eddy presented herself didn’t sit well with Jessica Colebank, who was working on the case. Colebank tells 20/20, “Just complete blank on emotions and there was absolutely nothing. It was like iced over…”
Eddy was charged as an adult, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
5. Both Women Remain at the Lakin Correctional Center in West Virginia
Today, both Eddy and Shelia remain at Lakin Correctional Center, which has a capacity of 543 offenders.
The prison’s website writes, “Vocational programs provided at Lakin Correctional Center include culinary arts, horticulture, landscaping, and facility maintenance. Adult basic education and GED courses are also offered. This facility participates in the West Virginia Correctional Industries program and employs inmates in a garment operation, and a sewing and embroidery factory responsible for manufacturing the clothing worn by inmates.”
Shoaf will be eligible for parole in 2024, while Eddy will be eligible for parole in 2029.
Be sure to tune into tonight’s episode of ABC News’ 20/20 at 9pm ET/PT on ABC.