Skylar Neese was murdered by her best friends, who for the next six months taunted the girl's parents and lied to authorities about what happened, West Virginia authorities say.
The case unfolded in West Virgina last year, but has been given a new life thanks to a story in People magazine, which devoted a three-page spread to her story.
Skylar Neese was a straight-A high school student who went missing July 6, 2012, from her home in Morgantown. Police questioned her close friends about what happened, but the girls claimed they didn't know anything. But police now say the opposite is true --- the friends were in fact responsible for Skylar's death.
In January, her friend Rachel Shoaf admitted that she and another girl drove Skylar to a Pennsylvania town about 30 miles from where they lived and stabbed her. The motive, police said, was cold-blooded --- the girls simply didn't want to be friends with Skylar anymore.
Shoaf and the other girl have now been charged with Skylar's murder, though the younger girl has not been identified because she is charged as a mionr. The murder was a shock to her parents who said the girls were once "inseparable."
Skylar's father said she “had just gotten back from vacation with her a week before this. She had been best friends with her since she was 8 years old. I mean, it’s sick.”
Reports said that classmates immediately suspected Shoaf had something to do with Skylar's death. They taunted her so relentlessly that Shoaf was admitted to a psychiatric hospital at the end of 2012.
To make matters worse, the two girls taunted Skylar's family, pretending to worry about their lost friend and even going door to door asking if anyone had seen her.
The second girl also spoke to Skylar Neese's father on Facebook, leaving this message:
“All I want is for my best friend to come home. I wish I knew something to give the police a lead or so she can come home but I don’t know ANYTHING. I’d do anything to have her home right now and I wish I knew something like everybody thinks I do. Come home Skylar it’s been five weeks too long. I miss and love you.”
The parents of Skylar Neese said the words are particularly cruel in retrospect. Her mother, Mary Neese, said she defended the girls when others were accusing them of killing Skylar.