MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County teenager Shelia Eddy admitted Friday that she, along with Rachel Shoaf, murdered high school classmate and former best friend Skylar Neese.

Eddy, 18, was scheduled to face trial next week but decided to plead guilty to first-degree murder with mercy. Though the conviction carries a life sentence, she will be eligible for parole after 15 years.

At the hearing, Judge Russell Clawges asked Eddy a series of questions to ensure she understood her plea. Eddy admitted her guilt but offered no explanation for the crime.

Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in May and is awaiting sentencing. She was expected to testify against Eddy had the trial come to fruition.

Sylar’s father, Dave, addressed the court prior to sentencing, saying he was “speaking on behalf of my daughter because she can’t be here.”

The tearful Neese said, “We are no longer a family. You can see the faces of the killer, but you can’t see Skylar’s face. You can’t imagine how Mary and I now feel.”


The plea ended one of the most gut-wrenching and confounding murder investigations in West Virginia in years.

An honor student at University High, Neese disappeared July 6, 2012, after sneaking out the bedroom window of her parent’s apartment in Star City to meet up with Eddy and Shoaf.  When she did not return home and failed to show up at her job at Wendy’s the next day, authorities presumed Neese had run away. However, her parents immediately suspected foul play.

Authorities claim Eddy and Shoaf drove Neese to Greene County, Pa., about 30 miles west of Morgantown, where they coordinated the fatal stabbing with kitchen knives and tried to bury her body. Instead, they covered Neese’s body with branches in a ditch, where it remained undiscovered until Shoaf led police back to the scene seven months later.

Monongalia County prosecuting attorney Marcia Ashdown told the court, “at an agreed upon signal, a countdown actually, those two girls, Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf, stabbed Skylar to death. They stood over her until her last breath.”

Investigators have struggled to comprehend a motive for Neese’s slaying beyond Shoaf’s statement that she and Eddy “didn’t want to be friends with her anymore.”

Ashdown said Eddy and Shoaf were worried that Neese would “divulge their secrets.”  She did not elaborate on what those secrets were, although she implied Eddy and Shoaf may have had a relationship.

“It was a conspiracy to rid themselves of their friend,” Ashdown said.

Eddy’s defense attorney, Michael Benninger, spoke on behalf of Eddy and her family and apologized for the crime.

“Shelia Eddy and her family recognize the Neese family is in a constant state of despair, lonliness and saddness,” Benninger said. “For that, Shelia Eddy and her family are, and will be eternally sorry. … We hope all families … tragically affected can move forward in a more peaceful and hopeful way.”

All three were classmates at University High School and appeared to be best friends. Dave Neese described Eddy as being like another daughter in his home and said Eddy even helped with the search after Skylar was reported missing.

The case became the subject of intense social media interaction among the girls’ classmates, who seemed at times to know more about the case than authorities.

Though state police focused on Skylar’s friends early in the investigation, the Neeses couldn’t fathom how Shoaf and Eddy were involved. Mary Neese even told investigators, “No. You guys, they are having as hard a time with this as we are.”

It wasn’t until Shaof agreed to cooperate that authorities were able to make arrests.

The case led the West Virginia Legislature to pass Skylar’s Law, making it easier for law agencies to rapidly issue Amber Alerts when a child is reported missing.


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Comments

  • Freda

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  • Amber

    Both girls should never be able to walk the streets again if they didn't want to be her friend they could of just said so but to take someones life away is uncalled for

  • Mary C.

    Saw the movie on Lifetime and cannot imagine a family being ok with doing that. It would be painful – reliving and sensationalizing the entire horrid event. I could never ever disgrace my child’s suffering or such a horrendous fate. Can someone explain why this Lifetime Movie was a good idea, what purpose it served, or why parents would permit making a movie of this? I’m appalled. Am I the only one?

  • Phillip Joy

    This disturbing case is the result of more than 20 years of liberal social policies starting with the Clinton years. Moral conduct began it's decline then and since been accelerated. Infidelity, spousal abuse, sexism, and drug use was stamped acceptable instead of it's rightful place of punishment. Today, a national party endorses same sex marriage, drug legalization, and illegal immigration. Hard work and success is ridiculed and punished while dereliction and laziness is victimized and compensated. Females are encouraged by groups like the NOW to be sexually active at the youngest of ages, to have abortions, and to keep men out of their lives. A traditional family is frowned upon as old fashion while anything other than tradition is glamorized. Jesus Christ has been vanquished from our lives so his values are no longer enshrined in our behavior! How many more American families will suffer horror such as this before we stand and fight for our heritage, our country, and our future?

    • Capital City

      savage murder existed well before the clinton years.

      everything else you wrote is projecting your political opinions onto this terrible tragedy.

  • Joshua

    i have met this girl personally at lorrie yegar jr. juvenile facility and she is very sorry for wat shes done and told me she would take responsibility for wat happened despite wat happened she is a verry nice girl

  • marti

    those girls got poses by some evil thing who know.s if they played with that ouija board ore had a lesbian three,o. what eve it was something more then what they saying

  • true justice

    Just take both those girls behind the courthouse straight to the firing squad. Save the taxpayer expense to serve them three squares for the next 20 years.

  • TB

    Cut and dry case if it went to trial. Rack up two more plea bargains for our fearless prosecutor. Skylar's law is a direct result of the Star City police chief dropping the ball from the begining, in my opinion.

  • jps

    This is so sad. What's sadder still is that the appropriate sentence wasn't given. The prosecution should not have accepted a plea deal and it's high time for West Virginia to reinstate the death penalty. Yes, the death penalty is a deterrent...once the murderer is executed, he/she will be deterred from murdering ever again. It's terrible to think that this scum will possibly be on the street again after 15 years.

  • hillbilly

    Unfortunately this is just another example of how our society has absolutely no regard for human life anymore. And until this changes we will only see more of the same.

  • Skeptic

    Sigh....So many of you calling the system flawed and broken but then you trust it to decide who is to die. There is a serious 'death culture' in America, and those advocating for the killing of Sheila Eddy are no better than Sheila herself. An eye for an eye only leads to a blind world. Go read the holy book that so many of you profess to believe in.

    • true justice

      Save the liberal bs for another time. You bleeding hearts make me sick.

    • jps

      Read Romans 13, especially pay attention to verse 4.

  • Skeptic

    Many of you calling the system unpredictable and flawed and at the same time calling for death. That makes TONS of sense.....

  • Pullyourheadout

    This is one of the most disturbing stories I can remember in Morgantown. I woke up in middle of the night and couldn't sleep, my heart breaking for Dave and Mary. I pray that this might show other young people that your problems are never so big that you should resort to destroying lives. Including your own. As I watched the hearing I kept waiting to see any human emotion from Shelia Eddy. As I watched I was reminded of Casey Anthony who showed no emotion over the loss of her child but only for herself. SE is devoid of emotion, devoid of remorse. This shows me that it was not a one time bad decision (understatement) but she would at some point hurt someone else if left free. She should spend the remainder of her life behind bars. I will be the first to offer that if my tax payer dollar can go to keeping her in prison then I would gladly donate a yearly some to ensure she never sees freedom again.

  • chasmo

    we need the death penalty asap in cases like this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's the only solution to STOPPING these horrendous acts ! no bed available ? well , destroy those that are 3 time losers & the lifers--- we would have plenty of beds available, but NOT for POS like these evil / demonic / heartless /wasted human flesh ! we, as a society , need to return to " EYE FOR AN EYE " .Prayers to the parents .

    • Ramones Girl

      Yes, the death penalty here in California is a such a strong deterrent. Wow, all those criminals in our state are sooooo scared. Gee, without the death penalty who knows how many more genius criminals would think twice before killing. I'm a conservative Republican but the death penalty is not cost effective for tax payers. It's cheaper and quite frankly, probably worse, to live in prison the rest of your life.

    • Pullyourheadout

      After a little time in prison she'll wish she was dead. Inmates don't take kindly to child killers, even if the killer is a child themselves.

      • heather

        a child killer isn't 16years old she was a teenager killing a teenager don't know what happened to this generation but kids these days think bringing guns to school shooting people then act surprised when you have to go to prison duh!-what were you thinking you were gonna get suspended if you take a life you should give Ur life cause when you die you will be eternity burning in hell anyway so you might want to think about it before you are bored one night and decide to kill someone.

  • cutty77

    I don't understand why people say this was Great Reporting on this story,and its out come. Have we become such a Sick Society that we enjoy watching Children that are just becoming into their young adult take each others lives. There are 3 different sets of parents that have to endure this the rest of their lives. May God be with all 3 sets of these parents. May God be with you SICK and Desperate people to enjoy watching this.

    • Pullyourheadout

      Maybe if Eddie's and Shoaf's parent would have more proactive in their children's lives maybe this would not have happened. I for one am tired of hear about how these viscous murderers are victims. They are depraved killers and I believe the apple probably doesn't fall far from the tree.