Robert O’Block reports that for almost nine months 16-year-old Skylar Neese of Star City, West Virgnia, was missing. She had vanished without a trace. Friends and family posted fliers all over town, at gas stations, on utility poles, and even in tattoo parlors. There was nowhere you could go in this small town without seeing Skylar’s face.
One night last summer she sneaked out of her bedroom window, and was spotted by a security camera getting into a car, willingly, at the end of the block. While there were some in this town of fewer than 2,000 people who thought she ran away, others never believed that theory.
The police investigated many leads, but to no avail. Finally, nearly nine months after she disappeared, one of Skylar’s friends came forward and confessed that she and another girl had plotted to kill her. This confession stunned everyone, including the investigators who had spent many hours working on the case.
Based on court documents, the two girls were charged with luring Skylar out of her family’s apartment in the middle of the night, stabbing her to death at a moment that was previously agreed upon by the two girls, and then concealing her body under some branches in a Pennsylvania township approximately 30 miles away from her own home.
The pair not only spent time with Skylar’s mother after the murder, but they even assisted in the search. One of the two assailants, now identified as 16-year-old Rachel Shoaf, has now pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and is currently in a juvenile detention center waiting for her sentencing.
The other girl’s name has not yet been released due to the confidentiality of juvenile court. At this time, they are unsure whether the second girl will be tried as an adult, as Shoaf was, or as a minor.
In the court file on Shoaf, prosecutors advise that they plan to request a 20-year prison sentence, but it’s possible that she could get as many as 40 years under the law.
Local barber BJ McClead is astonished that two teen girls could keep up this type of deception from July to January. McClead went on to say that “some of the criminals that are locked up for life aren’t that hard.”
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