The Disappearance Of Skylar Neese Is A Case Of Teenage Friendships Going Wrong

Published on 04/21/2021
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Skylar Neese was just a regular girl who was excited to spend some time with her pals. It was summer, which meant that she could put school at the back of her head in the meantime. “Stress will be the death of me,” she tweeted before going to bed. The next day, she returned home after working at Wendy’s. She kissed her parents a good night as they watched TV before retreating to her bedroom. There was nothing unusual about this at all, but this only made it harder to accept what came next.

The Disappearance Of Skylar Neese Is A Case Of Teenage Friendships Going Wrong

The Disappearance Of Skylar Neese Is A Case Of Teenage Friendships Going Wrong

She Did Not Go Home That Night

They did not find Skylar in her room the following morning. Her parents figured out that she snuck out in the middle of the night but did not return. They eventually filed a missing person report, which was the beginning of the search for the young girl. Sadly, the next time she saw her was in a black and white clip that showed her as she snuck out of her window. They saw that she had a purse slung on her shoulder as she went up to a car waiting for her. Rachel, her best friend, left for summer camp, but her other best pal Shelia was there to keep her parents company. Shelia herself was worried about the disappearance of her best friend. Not a single soul expected the truth about what actually happened to Skylar Neese.

She Did Not Go Home That Night

She Did Not Go Home That Night

Her Two Best Friends

Shelia Eddy and Skylar Neese had been best friends since the second grade. They had remained close while they were growing up. In fact, their bond was so tight that they would freely walk into the other’s houses. It was a good thing that their parents did not mind. You can even say that they were like sisters! They both went to University High School, which is close to Morgantown, West Virginia. During their freshman year of high school, they became close with a fellow student called Rachel Shoaf. While the duo has been close since they were eight years old, they welcomed their new friend with open arms.

Her Two Best Friends

Her Two Best Friends

Serving As Their Emotional Anchor

The three girls were all very close. Even so, Skylar allegedly served as the emotional rock of both Shelia and Rachel. This was a big deal as both girls had divorced parents. Meanwhile, she had parents who were willing to do anything for their only child. They honed her intelligence, motivated her to chase after her dreams, and encouraged her individuality. Of course, they were still young girls. It was just natural for them to have their fair share of drama. Even so, no one knew what was going to come next.

Serving As Their Emotional Anchor

Serving As Their Emotional Anchor

They Were Treated Just Like Family

Mary Neese, the grieving mom, shared, “Skylar thought she could save her.” She said this in relation to Shelia. She went on, “I would hear her on the phone giving Shelia all kinds of hell: ‘Don’t be stupid! What were you thinking?’ On the other hand, Shelia was so much fun. She was always silly and doing crazy stuff.” It was clear that Shelia was the fun one in their trio. Mary and David decided to act as if she was their own kid. “Shelia didn’t even knock on the door when she came over. She just came on in.”

They Were Treated Just Like Family

They Were Treated Just Like Family

How She Became Friends With Rachel Shoaf

But what about Rachel Shoaf? Well, you can say that she is the exact opposite of fun Shelia. She liked to perform in school plays and hailed from a religious Catholic family. While she was pretty popular at school, she started to idolize Shelia. This might have to do with the way they bonded over the divorces of their parents. It can also be attributed to how wild and carefree her friend was. Skylar and Rachel did not enjoy the same amount of freedom, after all. At any rate, the three girls were happy for a little while. But as we all know, things can get complicated when there are three people in a group…

How She Became Friends With Rachel Shoaf

How She Became Friends With Rachel Shoaf

They Thought That Shelia Was A Bad Influence

Ever since she started high school, people could not help but notice how Skylar changed. Her other pals thought that Shelia was not a good influence on her. If you ask her, she would have told you that she was simply growing up. She did not plan to stop spending time with her best friend. The same thing was happening to Rachel as well. Her other friends asked her to keep her distance from Shelia, but she did not listen to them. As a matter of fact, both girls started to hang out with Shelia even more after that.

They Thought That Shelia Was A Bad Influence

They Thought That Shelia Was A Bad Influence

A Lot Of High School Drama

If you check out their posts on social media, you will be able to tell that there was tension in the group. Here is a tweet by Skylar on May 31, 2012: “You’re a two-faced bitch and obviously f***ing stupid if you thought I wouldn’t find out.” In spring of the same year, she also posted, “Too bad my friends are having lives without me.” This sounds like Rachel and Shelia were leaving her out of their plans as they got closer. We are sure that she was hurt by this, although this is a pretty common thing in high school.

A Lot Of High School Drama

A Lot Of High School Drama

Something Out Of Mean Girls

“Shelia and Skylar were fighting a lot,” said Daniel Hovatter, one of their classmates. He went on, “One time sophomore year, me and Rachel were at practice for Pride and Prejudice, and Rachel had her phone up to her ear, and she was laughing. She was like, ‘Listen to this.’ Shelia and Skylar were fighting, but Skylar didn’t know Shelia had put her on three-way calling, and Rachel was listening in.” This is the sort of thing that we expect to see in Mean Girls. You can even compare Shelia to Regina George! Sadly, things went even further than a book full of insults and secrets…

Something Out Of Mean Girls

Something Out Of Mean Girls

She Did Not Show Up For Work

There is grainy camera footage that shows Skylar hopping into a sedan close to a dumpster in the wee hours of July 6. When she failed to show up home, her family started to get worried. However, they knew for sure that something was up when she did not go to her Wendy’s shift. The young girl was responsible, so this was not something she was likely to do. Her parents found her window open and a stool right below it. This was how they knew that Skylar snuck out after saying goodnight. However, they had no idea why she had yet to return home! She did not have any reason to run away. On top of that, she did not bring her toothbrush, phone charger, and other essentials with her. Where did Skylar go?

She Did Not Show Up For Work

She Did Not Show Up For Work

Her Best Friend Was Also Worried

Shelia called David and Mary Neese later that day to express her concerns about her best friend. “She proceeded to tell me that her, Skylar, and Rachel snuck out the night before and they had driven around Star City, and getting high, and that the two girls dropped her back off at the house,” shared the mom, “The story was they had dropped her off at the end of the road because she didn’t want to wake us up sneaking back in.” It is not unusual for high school kids to sneak out, so no one questions this for a while.

Her Best Friend Was Also Worried

Her Best Friend Was Also Worried

There Were Holes In Their Story

Sheila said that she and Rachel dropped by to pick Skylar up at around 11 o’clock and returned her to the same spot before midnight. This did not coincide with the surveillance video, however. The footage revealed that Skylar left home at 12:30 o’clock in the morning, with the car driving off five minutes later. This was the last time anyone saw her. Shelia and her mother helped with efforts to look for Skylar on July 7, while Rachel left for Catholic summer camp. People found it odd that she would still go camping when her best friend has disappeared. Shouldn’t she have been too scared to do something like that?

There Were Holes In Their Story

There Were Holes In Their Story

Always Going To Be Her Best Friend

Mary shared that Shelia had been very involved with the search efforts. The young girl always asked about new leads and kept posting about Skylar on social media. She pleaded for her best friend to return home safely. “Rest easy, Skylar, you’ll ALWAYS be my best friend. I miss you more than you could ever know,” said one post. Once, she even cried with Mary on Skylar’s bed. It is clear that she was treated like a member of the family. When the police started to close in on the girls, David himself asked the investigators to refrain from harassing Shelia and Rachel since they were the best friends of his child.

Always Going To Be Her Best Friend

Always Going To Be Her Best Friend

There Were Many Rumors At School

There were a lot of rumors going around the school. Among others, people said that Skylar attended a party and died from a heroin overdose. Corporal Ronnie Gaskins, who was assigned to the case, said that someone told him this. “People there panicked, and they disposed of the body,” he shared. They did not have much to work with, so they assumed that this was true. It was a good thing that Jessica Colebank of the Star City Police Force had her doubts. She did not doubt her instincts and went as far as to call out the girls: Their stories were verbatim the same. No one’s story is exactly the same unless it’s rehearsed. Everything in my gut was, ‘Shelia is acting wrong. Rachel is scared to death.’”

There Were Many Rumors At School

There Were Many Rumors At School

What Her Social Media Accounts Revealed

Sadly, they did not have a legitimate reason to arrest the girls at the time. As the police continued to investigate, the Neese couple had been in agony. They just wanted to know what happened to Skylar and bring her home safely if possible. Social media has offered them a few clues since all three of the girls were very active on Twitter and Facebook. A day before she went missing, Skylar posted this on Twitter: “Sick of being at fu**ing home. Thanks ‘friends,’ love hanging out with you all too.” Aside from that, she also tweeted, “You doing s*** like that is why I can NEVER completely trust you.”

What Her Social Media Accounts Revealed

What Her Social Media Accounts Revealed

They Found Her Journal As Well

You do not have to be a genius to figure out that Skylar felt left out. There are rumors at the high school about the reason for this. Some of them thought that Rachel and Shelia were in a relationship. Perhaps they wanted to get rid of Skylar so that she could not tell anyone about it. This was later confirmed as Skylar wrote about seeing her best friends making out in her journal. The girls had been at a sleepover when they decided to drink. Like any other teenager, they secretly drank their parent’s alcohol!

They Found Her Journal As Well

They Found Her Journal As Well

What The Rumors Have To Say

Skylar said that she felt uncomfortable to see Rachel and Shelia hooking up. This had nothing to do with their sexual orientation. In fact, we are sure that you would feel the same way when there is explicit PDA happening right in front of you. On top of that, it was hard to be a third wheel. This explains why she felt like she was being excluded, but was this really a big enough deal to murder Skylar? It sounds rather extreme. The investigators initially leaned towards the drug overdose idea, but it was eventually revealed that her best friends knew more than they were letting on…

What The Rumors Have To Say

What The Rumors Have To Say

They Must Be Involved One Way Or Another

It seemed like this feud offered evidence that Rachel and Shelia were involved in the disappearance of their best pal. If not, they knew more than they were saying. A state trooper by the name of Chris Berry got assigned to this case in August 2012. He was always of the belief that the person behind this would not get away with it. In the past, he handled cases in which murderers bragged about what they did. He could tell that this would go down the same path! It was only a matter of time before they confessed.

They Must Be Involved One Way Or Another

They Must Be Involved One Way Or Another

Time To Go Undercover On The Internet

There were a lot of rumors going around their high school. Chris Berry made a fake online persona to see what was going on. He posed as a teen who went to West Virginia University in Morgantown. Upon adding the girls on Twitter and Facebook, he made sure to go through their accounts. What did he find out about the mental states of both Rachel and Shelia? Well, he quickly learned more about who they were. For one thing, investigators learned that Shelia was perkier, while Rachel was the quieter of the two.

Time To Go Undercover On The Internet

Time To Go Undercover On The Internet

Do Not Mess With These Girls

They found it strange that neither Shelia nor Rachel appeared upset that Skylar was missing. Shelia would tweet random things such as a photo of them together. There were a lot of odd posts such as this tweet that Shelia made on November 5, 2012: “No one on this earth can handle me and Rachel if you think you can, you’re wrong.” On the other hand, both girls were also subjected to unpleasant things on social media. There were other Twitter users that accused them of killing their best friend. Others warned them that they would be brought to justice sooner or later.

Do Not Mess With These Girls

Do Not Mess With These Girls

They Were Caught In A Lie

Investigators kept bringing in the two girls for interviews. After a while, Rachel and Shelia became more secluded from the rest of their peers. This meant that they could only count on one another. Sometime later, the police realized that Shelia Eddy was the owner of the car that they found in the surveillance clip. Authorities checked the footage of other businesses on that summer night. They saw that car at a convenience store in Blackstone, which lies west of Morgantown and Star City. This was strange because both Shelia and Rachel said that they instead went east. The girls must have lied to them for a reason.

They Were Caught In A Lie

They Were Caught In A Lie

It Was Not Enough To Arrest Them

It was starting to become clearer and clearer that the two girls were involved in this. While the police could tell that they played a role in it, they did not have enough evidence to arrest Rachel and Shelia. If they got a confession from them, they could put an end to this madness. It was eerie to see just how well Shelia was dealing with it. Looking back, it was quite disturbing to see that she stayed calm all throughout. On the other hand, Rachel was unable to deal with all the stress and guilt.

It Was Not Enough To Arrest Them

It Was Not Enough To Arrest Them

Rachel Suffered A Mental Breakdown

They could tell that Rachel was really going through it. In fact, things got so bad that her parents decided to move back in together so that they could help her. It all came to a boil on December 28, 2012. That was the day that Monongalia County police received a call from Patria Shoaf. She was frantic as she said, “I have an issue with a 16-year-old daughter of mine. I can’t control her anymore. She’s hitting us, she’s screaming, she’s running through the neighborhood.” They could hear the teen crying uncontrollably in the background of the call: “Give me the phone. No! No! This is over. This is over!” Her mother finished the call by saying, “My husband’s trying to contain her. Please hurry.”

Rachel Suffered A Mental Breakdown

Rachel Suffered A Mental Breakdown

Her Confession Was Worse Than They Thought

Rachel was taken to a mental institution after that. She got out three days after she was admitted. After this, the police interviewed her. She took this as her opportunity to tell them the truth at long last. The police still assumed that Skylar had a fatal drug overdose and just wanted to hear the details. But what this young woman had to say stunned them all. “We stabbed her,” she revealed. The truth was far grimmer than any of them thought. They did not expect to hear that they planned the murder a month before it happened. Rachel and Shelia came up with it while they were in the middle of science class.

Her Confession Was Worse Than They Thought

Her Confession Was Worse Than They Thought

They Planned All Of It

Their plan was to kill Skylar before Rachel was due to leave for summer camp. As we all know, this part went smoothly. Rachel took a shovel owned by her dad, while Shelia provided the kitchen knives. Aside from that, they had cleaning supplies and a change of clothes too. Skylar thought that they would just drive around when her friends dropped by to pick her up. The trio liked to head to a nearby town called Brave and smoke weed in the forest. While her pals did bring pipes, they also had knives with them.

They Planned All Of It

They Planned All Of It

On The Count Of Three

It had been a hot summer night, but Rachel and Shelia both wore hoodies. They did this to cover up the knives. Skylar had no idea what they were planning to do, so she did not pay much attention to their outfits. Once they reached their typical spot in the woods, Skylar realized that they left the lighter in the car. She got up to retrieve it when her best friends walked up behind her. “On three,” Rachel said right before they tackled Skylar. According to Rachel, Skylar attempted to run off but could not do so because they got her in the knee. Her fate was sealed. The last thing she ever said was, “Why?”

On The Count Of Three

On The Count Of Three

What Everyone Wanted To Know

Skylar clearly did not know what was going on. The police also wanted to know what on earth would drive two young girls to do such a thing. “We just didn’t like her,” Rachel told them. If you ask us, this response only makes it even scarier. But the worst part of the story was that the two girls stabbed stabbing Skylar at a certain point and watched her bleed to death. The pair stabbed their best friend at least fifty times and let her die there. Who would have thought that two teenage girls would have it in them to murder their best friend for no good reason? That must be the very definition of psychopathic!

What Everyone Wanted To Know

What Everyone Wanted To Know

All Because They Did Not Like Her

When the police went through their posts on social media, one thing stood out to them. Shelia said, “We really did go on three.” Doesn’t that sound like they were bragging about what they did? In a different post, she said, “They say you remember the past better than it was.” Everything is now falling into place. It is clear that they did not feel bad about the crime, but we still find it hard to believe that two girls could do such a thing. We all know that teenagers fight, but how did things get to this point?

All Because They Did Not Like Her

All Because They Did Not Like Her

She Thought That They Were In The Clear

The authorities finally knew what happened with the confession from Rachel. Their next task was to see what Shelia had to say about it. The police came up with a plan. They wiretapped Rachel and instructed her to talk to Shelia about the crime. Sadly, this did not pan out as the young girl chickened out. It is clear that Shelia had a lot of control over her. Let us remember that she had already confessed to a premeditated first-degree murder by then. Despite this, she was still more scared of what Rachel would have to say to her. It is hard to imagine that a 16-year-old girl could inspire so much fear in anyone.

She Thought That They Were In The Clear

She Thought That They Were In The Clear

The Search For Skylar Neese

In January 2013, Rachel Shoaf brought the cops to the woods to show them where they murdered Skylar. She was unable to remember the precise location, and it did not help that the place was now full of snow. The cops failed to locate the body at first, but the confession was enough to arrest Rachel on murder charges. A week after that, the police finally made a breakthrough by finding the body of a young girl in the woods. It was nearly unidentifiable by then. On March 13, the crime lab officially confirmed that the body belonged to Skylar Neese.

The Search For Skylar Neese

The Search For Skylar Neese

It Was A Perfect DNA Match

This meant that the police had both the body and a confession. They went on to match blood samples in the trunk of Shelia’s car and Skylar’s DNA. The authorities picked Shelia Eddy up on May 1, 2013. She had been enjoying a meal at Cracker Barrel with her mother at the time. The cops waited for her outside the restaurant and arrested her for first-degree murder the moment that she walked outside the door. Lawyers did not want to defend the girls since it felt like too tall an order.

It Was A Perfect DNA Match

It Was A Perfect DNA Match

The Teens Were Tried As Adults

Even though they were both only 16 years old, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy got tired as adults. In January 2014, the latter pleaded guilty to the murder of her best friend at long last. She received a life sentence with the possibility of parole in fifteen years. Many people who kept up with the case hope that she will remain behind bars all her life. On the other hand, Rachel received a lighter sentence. She was only found guilty of second-degree murder and got sentenced to thirty years. We bet that this has to do with her full confession and help with the discovery of the body. Despite this, let us not forget that she killed a person alongside Shelia.

The Teens Were Tried As Adults

The Teens Were Tried As Adults

What The Grieving Father Had To Say

David Neese, the father of the victim, did not think that the two girls deserved leniency from anyone. “They’re both sickos, and they’re both exactly where they need to be: away from civilization, locked up like animals. Because that’s what they are, they’re animals,” he said. Can you imagine how terrible it must be for the Neese couple? They lost their only child in the most terrible way imaginable. We only hope that they eventually heal from this. David likes to visit a tree in the woods of Pennsylvania every now and then. It is decorated with photos of Skylar, who was killed by two jealous, murderous “friends.”

What The Grieving Father Had To Say

What The Grieving Father Had To Say

In Remembrance Of Their Little Girl

“I wanted to take the horrible thing that happened here and try to turn it into something good – a place that people can come and remember Skylar and remember the good little girl that she was, and the little beast they treated her like,” he said. Skylar Neese had been a smart and beautiful girl with an entire future ahead of her. It is upsetting to know that her life was ripped away from her by the people she called her best friends. This is the most horrific part of the story. If a person can do this to someone they love, can you imagine how they would treat a stranger?

In Remembrance Of Their Little Girl

In Remembrance Of Their Little Girl

The Skylar’s Law Has Since Been Passed

When they realized that Skylar did not return home, it took her parents some time to file a missing person’s report. After all, nothing about it pointed to a kidnapping. As a matter of fact, it resembled a runaway case more than anything since the young girl snuck out at night. The Neese couple helped pass what has since become known as Skylar’s Law. It requires the state to issue Amber Alerts for missing kids, even ones who are not thought to be kidnapping victims. Had this law been in place, Skylar Neese might still be here. It is too late for that now, but we are sure that this will help other children in the future!

The Skylar’s Law Has Since Been Passed

The Skylar’s Law Has Since Been Passed

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