Rachel Shoaf Biography
Rachel Shoaf (born June 10, 1996) grew up in Morgantown. In December 2012, Shoaf told authorities that she and Eddy planned and carried out Neese’s murder. Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on May 1, 2013.
Rachel Shoaf Parents
She is the only daughter of Rusty and Patricia Shoaf.
Murder of Skylar Neese
Skylar Annette Neese (February 10, 1996 – July 6, 2012) was an American girl who disappeared from her home in Star City, West Virginia around midnight on July 6, 2012. Neese’s remains were found on January 16, 2013, in Wayne Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania.
Neese was murdered by two of her high school friends, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy. In December 2012, Shoaf told authorities that she and Eddy planned and carried out Neese’s murder. Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on May 1, 2013. Neese’s disappearance led to new West Virginia legislation that made changes to the AMBER Alert missing child alert system.
Police Investigation Reports
Neese was initially considered to be a runaway by law enforcement authorities, and an Amber Alert was not immediately issued in connection with her disappearance. An early tip indicated that Neese had been seen in North Carolina, but the Star City Police Department determined that the person spotted was not Neese. Neese’s parents posted flyers about their missing daughter in the Monongalia County region. Police determined that the unknown sedan in which Skylar Neese was last seen belonged to Eddy and interviewed her. Eddy admitted to picking up Neese but stated that she had dropped her off an hour later. The FBI and the West Virginia State Police joined the search for Skylar Neese on September 10, 2012, and began interviewing Neese’s school friends.
The break in the case came when Rachel Shoaf admitted plotting with Shelia Eddy to kill Neese. The motivation Shoaf gave for the murder was they “didn’t like her” and “didn’t want to be friends with her anymore”. Dave Neese stated that these two girls were among his daughter’s best friends, and that Shelia Eddy had even helped the family look for her by distributing missing person fliers. After her confession, Rachel Shoaf led investigators to Neese’s body. On March 13, 2013, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II issued a press release stating that a body found in Wayne Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania on January 16, 2013 had been identified as the remains of Neese. Neese’s remains were found less than 30 miles (48 km) away from her home.
Neese maintained a close relationship with Eddy from when they were children but the friendship became strained when they met Shoaf while at high school. Neese reportedly became upset to see Eddy and Shoaf become close and allegedly witnessed the pair have sex at a sleepover. It was said the girls may have feared their secret tryst would become public.
On May 1, 2013, Rachel Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. According to the court transcript, Shoaf said that she and Shelia Eddy picked up Neese in Eddy’s car. The girls drove to Pennsylvania, got out of the car, and began socializing. At a pre-arranged time, Shoaf and Eddy stabbed Skylar to death on the count of three. The teens attempted to bury Neese’s body, but were unable to do so and instead covered the body with branches. The court transcript indicates that other students overheard conversations between Shoaf and Eddy about the murder plot, but failed to report it, thinking they were joking. According to Shoaf’s plea agreement, she pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree by “unlawfully, feloniously, willfully, maliciously and intentionally causing the death of Skylar Neese by stabbing her and causing fatal injuries”. In the plea agreement, the State of West Virginia will recommend a sentence of 40 years incarceration. Shoaf’s family issued a public apology for her actions through their lawyer.
On September 4, 2013, West Virginia prosecutors publicly identified Shelia Eddy as the second alleged perpetrator of the murder of Skylar Neese and announced that she would be tried as an adult. Eddy was indicted by a grand jury on September 6, 2013, with one count of kidnapping, one count of first-degree murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Shelia Eddy pleaded not guilty to these charges.
The date of the trial was originally set for January 28, 2014. However, facing the prospect of charges from both federal and Pennsylvania authorities in addition to the West Virginia charges, Shelia Eddy pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. As a result, Eddy was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
Following her guilty plea on May 1, 2013, Rachel Shoaf received a sentence of 30 years in prison and will be eligible for parole after 10 years. Both women are incarcerated at the Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County.
Shoaf got 30 years, not 40 years
Rachel Shoaf sentencing hearing on youtube has the judge ordering Shoaf to 30 years, sentenced as an adult: Rachel Shoaf Sentencing (murder of Skylar neese) 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Rachel Shoaf and Sheila Eddy, of Morgantown, West Virginia, lured 16-year-old Skylar Neese from her home in July 2012 and stabbed her to death
- Following the murder, Eddy wrote several tweets including one that read: ‘we really did go on three’ referencing counting to three before stabbing Neese
- Shoaf confessed to police on January 2013 that they committed the murder because they didn’t like Neese anymore
- The girls were arrested on May 2013 and tried as adults for murder
- Eddy was sentenced to life in prison and Shoaf was sentenced to 30 years