Grief counselors talked with students Thursday at University High School, a day after news broke that a body found in Greene County, Pa. was that of Skylar Neese.

Neese, a 16-year-old who had been missing since July, was a student at UHS.   U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld’s office issued a statement Wednesday saying Neese’s body was found Jan. 16 in Wayne Township, Pa.

Authorities remain tip-lipped about the investigation.  It’s unclear if foul play was involved in Neese’s death; officials have also not commented on the condition of the body or cause of death.

University High School Principal Shari Burgess said students, faculty and staff were hoping for a better outcome than the news released Wednesday.

“As a school family, we’ve held out hope,” Burgess said.  “When we got the official word, we called the staff and faculty together to prepare to talk to kids.”

Neese had been missing since July 2012 when a surveillance video near her Star City home saw Neese getting into a car with unidentified individuals.

The case has long been under investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office with state police and Star City police also involved in the case.  Few details had officially been released before Wednesday.

UHS held a moment of silence Thursday in honor of Neese.  Burgess says school administrators have asked parents to talk with their children about the case.

“Parents have done a great job in following this news story, because it is so close to our hearts.  Obviously, we’re all very saddened by this news,” Burgess said.  “Our thoughts are with her family and her friends.  We’ve lost a member of the UHS family.  We never thought we’d have to deal with something like this.”



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The body of Skylar Neese, the missing 16-year-old Star City resident, was found in January in Greene County, Pa., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld issued a statement Wednesday saying Neese’s body had been found in a remote area in Wayne Township, just across the Pennsylvania state border. She had been missing since July 2012 when surveillance video near her Star City home showed Neese getting into a car with unidentified individuals.

The case has been under investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office, with state police and Star City police joining in the case. Few details had officially been released before Wednesday.

Dave Neese, Skylar’s father, spoke with MetroNews about his daughter Wednesday.

“Our whole world is gone. We lived for that girl. We did everything in the world for that girl, and now she’s gone,” Neese said. “No parent should ever have to bury their children.”

A cause of death has not been determined, and authorities said it’s unclear if foul play was involved.

The body was found Jan. 16. Officials identified the body after the FBI conducted tests.

Dave Neese has been in contact with federal officials as the investigation continues.  He could not talk about the specifics of the case.  However, he said many rumors are untrue and hurtful to the family.

“The rumors do us more harm than good.  This isn’t speculation, this is my daughter we’re talking about.  There is no reason to ever, ever guess on something like this,” Neese said.  “If you don’t know the facts, then shut up.  It’s that easy.  It’s not good to spread this stuff around.”

Early in the investigation, there were rumors that Skylar had been spotted walking along Route 119 or in North Carolina.  Both turned out to be misinformation.

An emotional Dave Neese said he was unsure how he would cope with the news of losing his daughter.

“One day at a time is the only thing I know.  Just take the day as it comes,” Neese said.  “This gives us no closure at all.  We don’t have our daughter.  That is the only closure we were looking for.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says an investigation is ongoing.  It’s unclear when or if more information will be released.

Dave Neese is leading an effort asking lawmakers to approve a bill known as “Skylar’s Law.”  The bill would expand Amber Alert laws and allow police to initiate investigations, even in cases of runaways. Skylar Neese was deemed a runaway at the time of her disappearance, meaning her case did not qualify under Amber Alert rules.


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  • Angela Guzzo

    I think even runaways should be qualify as a Amber Alert because they still are endanger of being picked up or forced into a car or dangerous situation.
    I have 3 children and I would like the law to protect children of all ages.

    • Jon

      I agree, let's decide AFTER the child has been returned home whether they are a runaway or an abduction. I just don't want one person deciding the fate of an endangered child. Pass Skylar's law now.

  • Jim

    I work in child welfare and agree with Mr. Neese that the Amber Alert should apply to ALL children regardless of their age or status (runaway). We have to work together to protect our children of all ages.

    Very sad for the family and my family's thoughts and prayers go out to them. We're praying, please do the same.

  • Amber Earl

    She was a wonder girl she was my cousin. She will be missed by a lot of people. It's heartbreaking to hear that she is gone but I know she's in a better place. I love her very much. She will never be forgotten she will always be in our heart.

    • Jim

      So Sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family.

  • Renee Richards

    Prayers for her family.I can not imagine the oain and agony they have been through, I R.I.P

  • Bobbie Pierce

    My thoughts and Prayer are with the Neese family. I cannot imagine the pain and heart break they are going through. I prayed she would come home safe and sound. May the ones who did this be punished for the rest of there lives because her mother and father will suffer endlessly for the loss of there daughter.

  • Scottie

    As a mother myself, i can't fathom how this must feel.. My heart breaks for her parents!! So sad the disreguard people have for human life. I hope proper justice is served.
    Rip young Angel

  • Tobi Buckley

    'Skylers Law" is desperately NEEDED!

  • H. Kidd

    prayers to the family and friends...may god wrap His loving arms around everyone of you!

  • Dawn McQueeney

    BREAKS MY HEART i been posting , sharing hanging flyers since day one in 2012
    She has touched the hearts of a lot of people she will be sadly missed and never be forgotten. my Prayers to her family who never once gave up the search for their beautiful daughter.R.I.P. angel

  • Victoria

    Very sad news. Such a beautiful girl. Praying for her family.

  • carrie greathouse

    So Sorry about ur loss. We have been Praying they would find Her safe,this is a SAD DAY...THOUGHTA &PRAYERS for the whole Family...

  • Cold Cases

    I'm sorry for the families loss. I have a facebook page that I have her posted on. Please find her killer(s) quick! God bless her family.

  • Dawn


  • Melanie Moccaldi

    Prayers for her family. I'm sure they are in unspeakable pain.

  • Tara

    She may not of been known by all that she has touched or all that will sadly miss her. But yet she will never be forgotten. Prayers for her family who never once gave up the search for their beautiful daughter.