The girls became fast friends, and usually walked to each others' houses for sleepovers.
June 8 of last year, the girls were sleeping over at Taylor's house and decided to take a walk down the desolate road.
Authorities don't know if they happened onto a crime in progress, if they were victims of an attempted abduction or targets of a thrill killing, but the pair were gunned down near a bridge about a quarter-mile from Taylor's house.
Taylor's grandfather discovered the bodies after becoming worried when his wife tried calling the girl's cell phone and got no answer.
Skyla had been shot eight times; Taylor five. Investigators believe two different guns were used, leading to the presumption at least two people were involved. The isolated location of the crime also led investigators to believe that the shooters were local.
"It's such a remote area," Brown said. "You really have to know the area pretty well."
After the killings, investigators released a drawing of a tall man with American Indian features whom witnesses described seeing near the murder scene around the time of the killings, but that man didn't come forward for questioning.
In the past months, the Plackers moved away from the area because they said it was too painful to keep passing the scene of the killings so close to home.
"It kills me to even think about it," Vicky Placker said in a telephone interview. "Taylor was the best thing to ever happen to us.
"Half the time, I don't even want to get out of bed," she said, sobbing.