Family, friends and loved ones of Skylar Neese came out to pay their final respects on Friday evening. People celebrated the life of the murdered Star City teenager who they say is gone too soon.
Skylar's father, Dave Neese, said, "It's been a really rough couple days, but all in all with the community and family support we're doing really well. So many people fell in love with that smile and to see so many of them come out and pay their final respects, that's just overwhelming."
More than 1,000 people have made their way to the Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church in Westover, over the past two days. They shared stories and shed tears alongside one another, showing support as Skylar's family prepared to lay her to rest.
"The community support, the friends, the family, it's all been a blessing," said Skylar's cousin, Meloney Pritt.
Family members want people to focus on the positive surrounding the loss of Skylar, primarily with Skylar's Law. The law allows law enforcement officials in West Virginia to activate an Amber Alert for all missing children, not just those believed to be abducted. Monongalia County Commissioner, Tom Bloom, helped put together the legislation.
"If they were missing you had to wait 48 hours. We have now changed it so that missing now means they can do it a lot quicker and that's key," said Bloom.
"We're hoping that it helps save another child. We realize it was too late for Skylar, but this is going to be her memory and her legacy," said Pritt.
Dave Neese had a message for all of those who have shown support through this tragedy. He said, "Thank you, you guys don't know how much it means to Mary and I, for everyone to come out and support us. That just means so much."
16-year-old Rachel Shoaf pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Skylar's death. Another unidentified girl is also accused in the murder.