As of 7PM this evening, an online petition asking to deny parole to one of Skylar Neese’s murders (Rachel Shoaf) has surpassed 24,000 signatures. Rachel Shoaf is set to appear before the parole board in May 2023.
Before we further discuss this online petition, I first want to walk you through the life of Skylar Neese.
Born on February 10th, 1996, Skylar Annette Neese was the light of her parents life. Dave and Mary Neese adored their daughter, and she in return, adored them. Skylar was their only child, and if you were to ask Dave about his daughter, he could share with you dozens of stories about her that would bring a smile to your face. Skylar was smart, she was witty, she was beautiful and she excelled at everything she set her mind to. One of the best stories I have ever heard about Skylar was the 'tea party' story.
As a little girl, Skylar would host tea parties and her father would join her at the table as her honored guest. She would pour him tea, a huge beaming smile on her face. It was later on that Dave discovered after speaking to Mary that Skylar could not reach the sink, so when asked where she had gotten the water for the tea party from - Skylar showed him the toilet; and Dave realized he had been drinking toilet water this entire time.
This is one of many stories that Dave and Mary could tell you about their daughter, and how thoughtful, kind and caring she was. These characteristics continued into her teenage years.
At 16, Skylar had a 4.0 grade point average, a part-time job and an active social life. She had a magnetic, bubbly personality that caused people to flock to her. She was the kind of person who you could call at one in the morning, and she would sit there and listen to you. She was selfless, and her generosity exceeded all others. From helping a young boy with a wheelchair by carrying his books to class to bringing smiles to the faces of all her peers and teachers; Skylar was a rose in a field of tulips. She was exquisite in so many ways.
Skylar had a large circle of friends, but her two best friends were Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf. Skylar had known Shelia from a very young age, but the two had met Rachel their freshmen year of high school. It wasn't too long before what seemed to be a rock solid friendship began to crack.
On Thursday July 5, 2012, Skylar Neese finished her shift at Wendy's and returned home for the evening. After kissing her mother and father goodnight, telling them that she loved them, she went to her bedroom and closed the door. This would be the last time that Dave and Mary ever saw their daughter. Which absolutely breaks my heart to type.
It was then that Rachel and Shelia convinced Skylar to sneak out of her home, asking her to hang out with them. Skylar, having felt left out by her so called 'best friends' for months at this point, agreed to go out with them in hopes to amend the friendship and end the tension amongst the group.
Skylar got into the backseat of Shelia's car just before midnight. They drove across the West Virginia border into Pennsylvania, where the plan was to relax, talk and smoke.
As they walked away from the car, Shelia and Rachel both stated that they had forgotten their lighters, asking Skylar to return to the car to get one. Skylar agreed, turned around and walked back towards the car.
As Skylar walked away, Rachel and Shelia pulled out kitchen knives that they concealed under their sweatshirts, counted to 3 and then began stabbing Skylar in the back. After realizing what had happened, Skylar began to run away from the pair. Moments later, she was tackled by Rachel. Skylar began to fight for her life, eventually wrestling the knife away from Rachel and inflicting a huge has on Rachel's lower leg. Shelia came to Rachel's aid, and the pair resumed stabbing Skylar. After 50 stab wounds, the pair 'stopped counting'.
They then wickedly stood over Skylar, and watched her die. The only thing Skylar could voice was 'why'?
Following this - Rachel and Shelia went to Shelia's trunk and pulled out a shovel. It was clear that this entire evening had been premeditated, which police would learn had been the case for months. Yes, you read that correctly - these girls had a 'kill kit' in place. Which meant that when Skylar climbed in Shelia's car that evening, her fate (in the eyes of Rachel and Shelia) had already been determined.
Rachel and Shelia attempted to dig a grave to bury her, but when the ground was too hard to dig -they collected logs and shrubs from the area to cover her body. They then stripped themselves of their bloody clothes, cleaned themselves, and drove back to West Virginia, leaving Skylar's body in the woods.
The next morning Dave came home on a lunch break so Skylar could use his car to get to work. He knocked on her door there was no answer. He knocked again, and then once he was able to get into her room - saw there was a foot stool near her window. Dave realized that Skylar had snuck out. After trying her cell phone dozens of times, Dave called Mary, and also Shelia. Shelia told Dave that she had not spoken to Skylar since about 1130 PM the night before. When Dave spoke to Mary again, she told him that Skylar had work at 4PM that evening - so they would call the restaurant to check in on her after giving her a chance to clock in.
Dave and Mary never had the opportunity to call Wendy's - Wendy's called them. They were asking if Skylar was coming into work that day.
Dave and Mary then called the police. At some point, Shelia called Mary and told her that she needed to 'tell Mary the truth'. She then confessed that the three girls had snuck out that night, and Skylar asked Shelia to drop her off at the end of the street so that her parents would not hear her sneak back in. Dave and Mary's immediately began to fear that their daughter had been kidnapped.
When Skylar still did not return after the holiday weekend, police began looking into a surveillance video from the apartment. The video actually captured Skylar entering an unknown vehicle under her own free will. (the footage was grainy at this time - so there was no way for them to know the car belonged to Shelia).
As the months continued, Dave and Mary woke every morning wondering where their daughter was. As the investigation continued, the police began to really focus on Rachel and Shelia. Rumors had been circulating around the school that the girls had been more involved in Skylar's disappearance than they were letting on. What made this completely sickening, is the fact that both Rachel and Shelia continued to offer comfort, put up fliers, and attend prayer gatherings for Skylar. They even continued to make social media posts, begging Skylar to come back home.
Rachel eventually had a mental breakdown, this coming after she jumped out of her father's car on a crowded freeway to avoid taking a polygraph test. (Shelia had already failed hers miserably).
After being released from the psychiatric hospital, Rachel confessed about her true involvement in the murder. It started off with 'we stabbed her'.
The room was silent; shock going through all present. Finally, when they asked Rachel why they killed Skylar, Rachel responded with: “Because just we didn’t like her.” Eventually, after discovering evidence in Shelia's trunk that had traces of Skylar's DNA and in conjunction with Rachel's testimony - Shelia was also arrested.
On May 9, 2023, Rachel Shoaf will have her first parole hearing. Friends, family and supporters of the Neese family have started a petition on Change.org to show their support and backing for the Neese family to request that Rachel be denied her parole.
Realistically and in my personal opinion, Rachel should have gotten life. But because she confessed to the police, she was already given a 'deal' by getting a maximum sentence of 30 years; when the sentence should have been life. In her 'apology' statement to the Neese family, she mentioned how she failed her 'Lord and Savior Jesus Christ', in addition to her own family and Skylar's family. She also claimed that it was 'not the real me' in her statement.
As a girl raised in a religious family, she should have known that taking the life of another is not only a felony - it is a mortal sin. She broke 2 of the 10 Commandments.
-Thou shall not Kill
-Thou shall not Steal
Not only did she murder Skylar, she stole the life and soul of a wonderful person. She stole Dave and Mary's most precious gift on this earth. If she truly cared about her religion, she would know these things. She wouldn't have caved to the jealousy and spite. The wickedness. The statement she read out was empty - she hid behind false words.
Well, here are some words for her, from the Bible itself:
- But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
— Revelation 21:8, ESV
- Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous
— 1st John 3:12
Skylar wanted to change the world. She loved nature, she loved her family and her friends. She wanted a family, and she aspired to be a lawyer. Now, she will never get the opportunity to grow up and accomplish that goal. She will never get the opportunity to see her dreams fulfilled.
I have attached a few links to this article for more detailed accounts of Skylar's story,
If you would, please consider signing the petition and showing your support for the Neese family. Some people may say that these online petitions do not matter, but I strongly disagree. Signatures show strength in numbers. They show that we united.
Even though she is no longer with us - Skylar is still very much with all of us. She has touched the lives of so many people.
It is said that one’s enemy doesn’t stand a chance when the victim decides to survive. Well, Skylar’s spirit is still surviving in thousands of people. And as long as her spirit and heart continues to grow and spread, that makes her murderers powerless.
To these two killers, I want you to know.... I see through your veil. And soon, the rest of the world will too.
Petition Link: Keep Rachel Shoaf Behind Bars
Petition Link: Keep Rachel Shoaf Behind Bars
Dr. Phil Episode: Skylar Neese - Dr. Phil Episode
Dateline NBC Episode: "Something Wicked"