The Amber Alert which has proven to be effective in the solving of kidnapping cases was launched in 1996 to aid with media publicity when a child has been kidnapped. In 2012, the alert was modified and this was because of the case of 16-year-old Skylar Neese murdered by her two best friends. The story of Neese’s murder is one with themes of betrayal and has gone down in American history as one of the goriest stories of murder.
Keep reading to learn about the kidnap and murder of Skylar Neese and how her death led to the modification of the Amber Alert.
Skylar Neese’s Background
Skylar Annette Neese was sixteen when she was killed by her two best friends. This teenager was born to Mary and Dave Neese on the 10th of February, 1996 in Morgantown, West Virginia and was the only child of her parents. Skylar, as at the time of her death, was attending University High School in her hometown of Morgantown, where she was part of the honours program, her excellence in high school was the groundwork she was laying to study criminal law, and she was able to excel at her studies while working part-time as a Wendy’s. Unfortunately, all of this came to an end on the 6th of July, 2012.
The Story of How Skylar Neese Was Murdered
The day was a Thursday and Skylar Neese had just gotten back home from work when she got a call from Shelia Eddy and Rachel Shoaf. Both of them had invited Skylar to hang out with them, which she did grudgingly as she had decided that she no longer wanted to be friends with them.
Around 12 midnight on the 6th of July, Skylar Neese climbed out of her room window and met the girls across the street in a car that Sheila was driving. The three of them drove to the spot where they usually hung out and smoked weed. Eddy and Shoaf had pretended that they had forgotten their lighters at home, Skylar offered to get hers from the car and when she turned around to go to the car the two of them counted to three and began to stab her with the knives they had hidden on themselves.
Neese had attempted to run away but she was outnumbered, at a point, she had managed to get Shoaf’s knife which she used to cut her knee in self-defense but Eddy continued to stab her. They only stopped when Skylar stopped moving. When Skylar Neese’s body was found and an autopsy was run on her, it was discovered that she was stabbed fifty times.
The Motive For Skylar Neese’s Murder
The murder of Skylar Neese had been planned for months by the two girls who were afraid that Neese will reveal a secret they had. A few months before her death in July, Neese had gone on a sleepover with Rachel Shoaf and Sheila Eddy, of the two, Neese had been friends with Eddy the longest and had known her since she was a child. But during the sleepover, Skylar Neese had seen them while they were having sex, out of fear that Skylar would tell people of their relationship, they decided the best way to keep their secret safe was to murder her.
After stabbing her to death, they covered Neese’s body with the branches of a tree, some rocks, and dirt, as their attempt to bury her was futile. The search for Skylar lasted for over a month until Rachel confessed to the crime and led law enforcement to her body. Skylar Neese was known as a responsible member of the society and her death was a shock to everyone. Before the police began investigations on the case, they believed that Skylar had only run away until they started getting clues that she was actually missing.
During their investigation, they spoke to students at University High School where Neese was studying and it was only after Shoaf’s confession that it came to light that people had overheard them plotting the murder but believed they were only joking.
There was no urgency in the search for Skylar Neese and an Amber alert was not released for her because her case was not in alignment with the four criteria for the release of an Amber alert. Since the case of the 16-year-old Skylar Neese murdered by her two best friends, a law named after her was made and instead of waiting 48 hours to declare a child as missing, the Amber alert has been changed to be released immediately.