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Shoaf parole hearing confirms motive for Skylar Neese murder

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The family of murder victim Skylar Neese says it’s very thankful for much more than parole being denied for one of two convicted in her killing, Rachel Shoaf, but the family has confirmed the motive for the killing.

Dave Neese

Dave Neese, Skylar’s father said the admission ends years of speculation as to why Shoaf and Shelia Eddy killed their best friend, hid the body and covered up the crime for months.

“We found out finally after 11 long years what the real reason why they murdered Skylar,” Neese said Thursday on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town.” ” She (Shoaf) was in a relationship with Shelia Eddy, a gay relationship and they were both afraid Skylar was going to tell people.”

Neese heard Shoaf admit that during her parole hearing Tuesday. The state Parole Board denied parole.

Shoaf and Eddy developed the plan in the summer of 2012 to drive Skylar to Pennsylvania where they stabbed her to death. After a failed attempt to bury Skylar’s body they cover it with brush and limbs where it was for the next six months until Shoaf broke down and told police where the body was.

“Skylar was hit by this with total surprise, I know she was,” Neese said. “She thought these two girls were her friends and they were making amends maybe and they pull out kitchen knives and stab her over 50 times and then they lose count.”

The family and supporters were offended when Shoaf referred to the actions in July of 2012 and the following months as a “mistake.” Skylar’s father said the tensions among the three girls were evident in the days and weeks leading up to the killing.

“They were heard talking about in science class and got sent to the office for it,” Neese said.  “She had every chance in the world to back out of that and she chose not to, so she didn’t make a mistake, she made a choice.”

Neese and is wife continue their outreach efforts called “Skylar Talks” where the visit schools and prisons to help others understand how their actions can cause pain far beyond the intended victim of their crime. For the younger people, they talk about “Skylar’s Promise,” a commitment made by young people to say something if they believe something is wrong.

“It’s so important to me that this never happens again to anyone,” Neese said. “It’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever been through, obviously, and I don’t want anyone else to go through it, I wouldn’t wish it on the two people that put me through it.”

Neese said the family participated in the hearing from a community room at Mylan Park, where there was no video connection. Neese said he really wanted to see Shoaf, and he wanted Shoaf to see him, but that was not possible.

Probation hearing problems

Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom said he was disappointed in the hearing and communication with state officials about the meeting. Bloom said state officials told him a “Zoom” link was to be provided to family, local officials, and the media, but it was never provided, and the hearing went on through a phone connection.

Tom Bloom

“Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and their victim impact statement was given over the phone, and that is very difficult to do,” Bloom said at Thursday’s county commission meeting.

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