On July 6, 2012, 16-year-old Skyler Neese’s parents discovered their daughter was missing. Six months later, one of Skylar’s best friends, Rachel Shoaf, revealed that she and Skylar’s other best friend, Shelia Eddy, had stabbed Neese to death.
Shoaf, who is 23 today, turned herself into authorities at the Monongalia County Circuit Court on May 1, 2013. The teenager, charged as an adult, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison– eligible for parole after 10 years. As of 2014, Shoaf was incarcerated at the Northern Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Wheeling, West Virginia. Today, she remains at the Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County, West Virginia. Co-defendant Shelia Eddy is also a prisoner at the Lakin Correctional Center.
According to Lakin Correctional Center’s website, the prison is a maximum-security prison located in West Columbia, West Virginia, and has a compacity of 543 offenders.
Who Was Skylar Neese?
Skyler was the only child of Dave and Mary Neese. Her father tells ABC News’ 20/20, “Skylar was a very bubbly person… She was also very loyal to her friends, the people she thought was her friends.”
She met Shelia Eddy at age 8 and met Rachel Shoaf as a freshman in high school in September 2010. At first, the three were inseparable. But that friendship soon gave way to a number of arguments and, eventually, hatred.
For months, Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf pretended to be ignorant as to Neese’s whereabouts. In fact, Shelia Eddy helped canvass the neighborhood, looking for Neese, in July of 2012. In the months following her disappearance, a number of rumors surfaced about Neese. Some suggested she had overdosed at a party.
According to ABC, Rachel Shoaf had a nervous breakdown on December 28, 2012, and was admitted to a local psychiatric hospital. After being discharged nearly a week later, she admitted to police that she was responsible, along with Eddy, for stabbing Neese to death.
State Police Corp. Ronnie Gaskin says that when they asked Rachel why she killed Skylar, she simply responded, “We just didn’t like her.”
In trial, CBS affiliate WDTV reports Shoaf testifying, “The person that did that was not the real me…. I became scared, caught up in something that I did not want to do.”
After the sentencing, the Shoaf family released a statement that read, “We continue to grieve over this tragedy. We acknowledge that Shelia Eddy has finally admitted her involvement and accepted responsibility for her actions in Skylar’s death. Her death is consistent with the prior admission and statements made by Rachel Shoaf and will help to bring some closure in this matter for the Neese family without the necessity of their having to endure the pain and heartache of a trial. We continue to pray that we will all find peace in our hearts and the strength to move forward.”
Be sure to tune in tonight to ABC News’ 20/20 at 10pm ET/PT to learn more about the murder of Skylar Neese.