Skylar Neese's tweets proved instrumental in helping authorities to solve her murder. At 16 years old, Neese vanished from her parents' apartment in Morgantown, West Virginia, on July 6, 2012. Her parents described her as a hard-working honors student who had a bright future ahead of her. On the night she disappeared, Neese's best friends, Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf, stabbed her to death on a rural road in Pennsylvania.
Shoaf and Eddy eventually pleaded guilty to Neese’s murder, and West Virginia courts tried them as adults. Shoaf received a sentence of between 10 and 30 years for second-degree murder, while courts charged Eddy with first-degree murder and sentenced her to 15 years to life in prison. Both girls are in the Lakin Correctional Center in West Virginia. Neese’s death highlights the emergence of social media in murder cases.
Shelia And Rachel Were Her Best Friends - And Her Killers
In 2012, Skylar Neese’s two best friends, Shelia Eddy and Rachael Shoaf, intentionally killed her. Neese first met Eddy when the two were in elementary school, and Shoaf arrived during their freshman year of high school. Though Neese and Eddy had formerly been inseparable, Shoaf's arrival allegedly drove a wedge between them. She and Neese began competing to be closest to Eddy, who enjoyed the attention.
Neese Snuck Out To Be With Her Friends, But Never Returned Home
On July 5, 2012, after coming home from a part-time fast food job, Neese snuck out of her parents' apartment. They lived on the ground floor, and she pushed a bench under her bedroom window to make it easier to climb out. She met with Eddy and Shoaf, who were waiting in a nearby car.
The next morning, Neese's parents found the bench and window screen, which Neese had placed in her closet. Surveillance footage of the outside of their building showed Neese climbing out of the window, but it didn't capture the car or people waiting outside. Her parents called the police to report Neese’s disappearance. When later questioned, Eddy and Shoaf claimed Neese returned around midnight.
There Was A Serial Killer 'Kit' In The Trunk Of Their Car
Not only did Eddy and Shoaf plan Neese's murder, but they also outfitted the trunk of Eddy's car with a "serial killer kit" consisting of towels, bleach, a shovel, and a change of clothes for each of them. In addition, they packed the knives they used to kill Neese. Both girls wore hooded sweatshirts while they stabbed their friend to death. Their plan was to kill Neese, dispose of her body, change their clothes, and head back home as if nothing had happened.
Following their plan, Eddy and Shoaf drove Neese to a secluded location in Pennsylvania where they frequently went to smoke and hang out. There, Eddy and Shoaf counted to three and attacked Neese with knives. They reportedly stabbed her dozens of times until she stopped making "weird sounds."
After they murdered Neese, Eddy and Shoaf planned to bury her body using the shovel they brought along. However, they found the ground was too rocky for them to make a dent in it. Instead, they dragged Neese's body to a secluded area of the woods next to a large tree and covered her with branches. This is where Neese's body laid for more than six months, until the following January when Shoaf led police to the location.
Eddy Called Neese's Parents Every Day Asking For Updates
Between July 6, 2012, when Neese went missing, and January 16, when police discovered her remains, Eddy spoke to Neese's parents every day, calling so much Neese's father, Dave, "thought [Eddy] genuinely cared." She asked for updates in the case, helped put up missing person posters, and even assisted in the search.