A West Virginia teen has pleaded guilty to murdering her high school classmate and former best friend.
Sheila Eddy, 18, was slated to face trial next week in the death of 16-year-old Skylar Neese, whom she and another girl, Rachel Shoaf, stabbed to death in July 2012. Eddy was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 15 years.
The victim's father, Dave Neese, tearfully addressed the court Friday, saying, “We are no longer a family. You can see the faces of the killer, but you can’t see Skylar’s face. You can’t imagine how Mary and I now feel.”
According to a statement by Shoaf, she and Eddy killed Neese because they "didn’t want to be friends with her anymore," West Virginia Metro News reported.
“It was a conspiracy to rid themselves of their friend,” Monongalia County prosecuting attorney Marcia Ashdown said, according to the publication. Ashdown said that Eddy and Shoaf plotted to kill Neese because they feared she would "divulge their secrets," but did not elaborate on what those secrets may have been.
According to the paper, the prosecutor implied that the murderers may have had a lesbian relationship.
Speaking at Friday's hearing, Neese's family shared how Eddy had tried to cover her tracks by joining them in grief and comforting them.
"She came and acted as if she knew nothing. She pretended and stayed with us and comforted us and swore she had no idea what was going on," Neese's aunt, Carol Michaud, told the court, according to the Observer-Reporter.
Eddy posted photo tributes to her friendship with Neese on social media shortly before she was arrested and charged with her murder.
Shoaf pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last May and was expected to testify against Eddy in her trial. Shoaf cooperated with police, leading investigators to Neese's body.
On July 6, 2012, Eddy and Shoaf lured Neese out of her home on the pretext that they were going for a joyride. They drove to a wooded area and then stabbed Neese.
According to prosecutors, the teens watched Neese die, covered her body with twigs and leaves, then changed into clean clothing and drove off.