Skylar Neese Update: Teen accused of W. Va. girl's murder was like "second daughter" to Neese's parents

Undated photo of Skylar Neese
Undated photo of Skylar Neese

(CBS/AP) STAR CITY, W.Va. - The parents of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl say one of the friends accused of stabbing her to death had been like a second daughter to them.

PICTURES: W. Va. teen allegedly killed by "friends"

The girl had lied to them for the better part of a year about allegedly killing their daughter in July.

The unidentified juvenile had been friends with Skylar Neese since age 8, and Mary Neese says the girls became inseparable when they hit high school.

Now that girl and another classmate - 16-year-old Rachel Shoaf are charged with plotting the attack. Only if she is charged as an adult will the second suspect be identified.

Mary Neese says she defended the girl for months, until lies tripped her up with police.

Dave Neese said Shoaf has told authorities the girls didn't want to be friends with his daughter anymore, but he knows there's more to it than that. He has more questions than answers.

At her plea hearing last month, Shoaf admitted only that she and the other suspect drove the victim to a secluded spot on a gravel road in Pennsylvania - just minutes from the unincorporated West Virginia community of Macdale - and stabbed Skylar to death at an agreed-upon moment.

They tried to bury her but hid her body under branches when they couldn't.

The cold calculation and brutality of the plot shocked a small town already frustrated by the slow pace and secrecy surrounding the case. Investigators have said nothing publicly about the case since announcing the charges against Shoaf on May 1.

Prosecutors say in the court documents they plan to recommend a 20-year prison sentence and will oppose any move to have Shoaf sentenced as a juvenile. But she could get as many as 40 years under the law.

Shoaf's family issued a public apology but has made no further statements.

Complete coverage of Skylar Neese on Crimesider