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.
Fellow Students Overheard The Teens Talking About The MurderPhoto: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
Several of Eddy and Shoaf's high school classmates came forward after the girls had been arrested. An unnamed student testified that he overheard the two discussing how they murdered and disposed of Neese's body. However, the classmates didn't say anything to the authorities at first because he believed that Eddy and Shoaf to be joking. Once he realized what actually happened, the classmate contacted the police.
The Teen Murderers' True Motives Are UnknownPhoto: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
Authorities are uncertain of Eddy and Shoaf's motive in killing their friend, although Neese's social media posts in the weeks before the murder hinted at a rift in the friendships. When questioned, Shoaf told authorities she and Eddy simply grew "bored" with Neese and just "didn't like her anymore."
Rachel Shoaf Confessed First
Teen murderer Rachel Shoaf was the first to admit guilt to the authorities. In December 2012, six months after the murder, she experienced a nervous breakdown and spent a few days in a psychiatric hospital. After her release, she called her attorney and confessed to him. Together, they went to the police, and Shoaf told them where they could find Neese's body.
She also named her co-conspirator, Shelia Eddy. Shoaf even wore a wire to try and record Eddy admitting to her part in the murder.
After Neese's Body Was Found, Eddy Tweeted About Her 'Best Friend'
West Virginia authorities identified Neese's body on March 13, 2013. Eddy had not yet confessed to the crime, even though Shoaf already led police to Neese's body. Just after authorities announced they had identified Neese's remains, Eddy, still feigning innocence, tweeted how Neese would always be her best friend and that she hoped Neese would "rest easy."