At the time of the murder of Skylar Neese, 16-year-old Shelia Eddy along with her best friend Rachel Shoaf decided they didn’t like their third best friend anymore. And to do something about it, they decided to stab her to death.
Shelia Eddy Stabbed Her Best Friend Because She Didn’t Like Her Anymore
It was the 6th of July, 2012 when Shelia Eddy and her two best friends decided to go out to chill and smoke some weed. Shelia was 16 at the time and decided to use kitchen knives as her choice of weapon.
The location was Monongalia County, West Virginia, the USA where the horrific crime was concocted and carried out.
Shelia Eddy confessed and admitted her crime through overflowing guilt. But even after confessing, she and her friend Rachel Shoaf provided no solid ground or motive.
Their only reason was they got fed up with their best friend and decided to lay her off.
Shelia Eddy pleaded guilty to the murder of Skylar Neese and was sentenced to life in prison. The verdict was carried out on 24th January 2014 with minimum eligibility for chances for parole after 15 years of her sentencing.
The disappearance and the whole shocking situation led to an amendment in West Virginia legislation. This included changes made to the Amber Alert missing child alert system.
The Murder of a Friend by a Friend
6 July 2012 would turn out to be a horrific date for three families and the world.
It was a normal night in Star City, West Virginia when Skylar Neese, a sixteen-year-old teenager went missing. She disappeared from her home around midnight with nowhere to be found.
It wasn’t until ten days later that her remains would be found in Wayne Township, Pennsylvania. The whole locality went into shock upon the discovery and the murder gained significant tract in the media.
Rachel Shoaf, one of the trio of best friends pleaded guilty to the whole ordeal after almost a year.
The charge was second-degree murder and her co-conspirator was Shelia Eddy, the final member of the pack. They both planned and carried out Skylar Neese’s murder.
The Disappearance of Skylar Neese
The details would reveal themselves later as part of Shelia Eddy’s and her friend’s confession, but at the time, Skylar Neese returned to her apartment in Star City, West Virginia after completing her fast-food restaurant shift. She lived with her parents.
This was 6th July 2012 and she would then later disappear from her home the same night.
David Neese, the missing girl’s father, would then go survey the complex surveillance video footage which showed the teenager leaving her premises by hopping out a window. This was around midnight.
She then went into an unknown sedan.
David insisted her daughter intended to return, as her window was left open when she left and Skylar Neese didn’t take her cell phone charger with her.
Criminal Charging of Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf
Rachel Shoaf pleaded her guilt on 1st May 2013 to having been involved in second-degree murder. She provided further details which would shed more light on the disappearance and the murder of the teenager.
Rachel along with Shelia Eddy drove to Pennsylvania after picking up Skylar Neese from her apartment. After formalities and socializing till a decided timeslot, both the friends Rachel and Shelia Eddy stabbed their best friend to death.
They started stabbing on the count of three. They did so because they decided they didn’t like Skylar anymore.
The court transcript reveals that the teens then proceeded to bury Skylar’s body to no avail. Coming up with a hurried solution, they decided to cover the victim’s body with branches.
Other students confessed to having heard both Rachel and Shelia Eddy conspiring murder and the plot but didn’t report it as they thought the plot was worthy enough to be deemed as a joke.
Shelia Eddy’s Charge
West Virginia prosecutors brought forth Shelia Eddy in front of the public and identified her as the second perpetrator on 4th September 2013. At the time, they announced she would be tried as an adult in court .
A grand jury indicted Shelia Eddy on 6th September. She was charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of first-degree murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. At the time, Shelia Eddy pleaded ‘not guilty to all of the above charges.
She went to trial which was set for 28th January 2014.
Shelia Eddy’s Confession
Shelia Eddy changed her ‘not guilty’ plea to plead ‘guilty’ just four days remaining before the initiation of the trial. The count for which she would be pleading would be first-degree murder with mercy.
This resulted in Shelia Eddy being sentenced to life imprisonment. She would also be eligible for parole after she has served her time for 15 years. Her friend would then be tried for charges of second-degree murder, later on.
Rachel Shoaf’s Plea Agreement
Rachel Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder by “unlawfully, feloniously, willfully, maliciously and intentionally causing the death of Skylar Neese by stabbing her and causing fatal injuries”.
In the agreement, the State of West Virginia decided to pursue her with a sentence of twenty years of incarceration.
Details Regarding Shelia Eddy’s Court Appearance
Judge Russell Clawges sentenced Shelia Eddy to life with mercy because she was 18 years of age at the time. This meant the possibility of parole after serving 15 years.
As this was an agreement, the rest of the charges which included kidnapping and multiple conspiracy counts were taken off.
Shelia Eddy appeared in front of the court in an orange prison suit wearing glasses and her hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her face showed visual distress and her voice broke whenever she responded to the Judge’s queries.
She declined to address the court after pleading “Guilty,” in a cracking voice.
A Possible Motive for the Slaying as Per the Accused
The only reason which was quoted without going into specific details by Monongalia Country Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown at the time was that the girls, Shelia Eddy and Rachel were worried that Skylar would divulge both their secrets.
The nature of those secrets could be general things, which girls around that age have.
The duo Skylar Neese and Shelia Eddy had been close friends since grade school. They even went to the beach together weeks before the fateful night. It wasn’t meant to be when Shelia found another friend in Rachel Shoaf.
Fear and maybe jealousy provoked the hidden underlying anger in both the girls and they would later eliminate the threat rather than facing their own fears which weren’t rooted in reality in the first place.