The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

May 1, 2013

W.Va. girl pleads guilty in slaying of Star City teen

MORGANTOWN — A teenager has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and another is facing charges in the disappearance and death of a Star City girl last summer, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said Wednesday.

Rachel Shoaf, 16, of Morgantown, appeared Wednesday morning in Monongalia County Circuit Court after agreeing to plead as an adult, he said. She is in custody until sentencing, and it was unclear whether she has an attorney.

The other juvenile was also in custody following her arrest Wednesday, Ihlenfeld said. The charges against her weren’t immediately available, and the Monongalia County prosecutor’s office didn’t immediately return a telephone message.

The remains of 16-year-old Skylar Neese were found in Wayne Township, Pa., in January.

An honors student at University High in Morgantown, Neese was last seen on surveillance video leaving her family’s apartment July 6, and getting into a car. The Greene County location where she was found is less than 30 miles from there.

Neese was initially considered a runaway, but her parents soon suspected she was abducted.  

The recovery of her body led to changes in West Virginia’s Amber Alert process.

Legislators recently passed “Skylar’s Law” so Amber Alerts are not limited to kidnappings. It now requires law enforcement officials to relay initial reports of any missing child to State Police, who then contact the Amber Alert system.

Amber Alert personnel would then decide whether to issue an alert.

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