Petition to deny parole to teen’s murderer reaches thousands

Rachel Shoaf was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Skylar Neese in 2012.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:06 PM EDT
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STAR CITY, W.Va (WDTV) - One of the people convicted in the 2012 murder of Skylar Neese will have her first parole hearing soon.

More than a decade ago, 16-year-old Skylar Neese was deceived and murdered by two girls she thought were her friends.

One of them, now an adult, may soon be paroled.

Rachel Shoaf is set to appear before the parole board in early May.

Friends and family of Skylar Neese have created an online petition asking the parole board to deny Shoaf’s parole and keep her behind bars.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had gotten more than 8,000 signatures.

When Skylar’s whereabouts were still unknown, Shoaf pretended to help by posting missing person fliers.

Several months later, she cracked under the pressure and led authorities to where she and Sheila Eddy had hidden Skylar’s body.

“She just did that to get a plea deal, she wasn’t sorry she did it and neither one of these girls as far as I’m concerned will ever be ready for society because what they did is just beyond anybody’s wildest horrible thoughts,” said Skylar’s father, David Neese.

Neese says he can’t bear the thought of seeing one of his daughter’s killers set free -- even if more than a decade has passed.

“Rachel Shoaf and Sheila Eddy are exactly where they belong and where I want them to stay forever,” said Neese. “We hope that the parole board understands us citizens, we don’t want them out in public, they are where they need to be, and we hope the parole board keeps them where they’re supposed to be, in prison.”

Ever since her death, the Neese family has spent time telling people Skylar’s story -- everything that was special about her but then taken away.

Her father says there are many people out there who still care for his family and justice for his daughter.

“This is something that has destroyed so many lives, the ripple effect behind this murder has touched the entire world and that’s not a good thing,” said Neese.