DOUGLAS COUNTY, NE — A woman convicted of killing a romantic rival and then assuming her identity online has been sentenced to life in prison without parole in Nebraska.
Douglas County District Judge Timothy Burns said Shanna Golyar, 42 (above, left), created a “twisted plot of lies, deceit, and impersonations” in order to create the illusion that 37-year-old Cari Farver (above, right) was still alive.
Authorities believe Golyar killed Farver in Douglas County on November 13, 2012, after she left the apartment of David Kroupa, whom Goylar had dated off and on. After the murder, Goylar used her victim’s phone, sent fake emails, and posted on Facebook using Farver’s account in an attempt to mislead authorities and her victim’s relatives — unbelievably, for the next four years.
On the last morning she was seen alive, Cari Farver sent a text message to her mother informing her that she had broken up with her boyfriend and might check into a mental institution.
Three days later, Farver’s employers in Macedona, Iowa, received a text explaining that she was resigning to take another gig in Kansas — but was sending a woman named Shanna Goylar to work in her place. The company was skeptical, and did not believe that Farver would recommend a stranger for the job.
Farver’s mother, Nancy Raney, also did not accept that her daughter would choose to disappear without explanation. She filed a missing person’s report with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office.
During this time, Goylar also emailed an ex-boyfriend that Farver was dating, scratched expletives into her own car, and set fire to her own home. Goylar continued to post as Farver on social media for years, according to police.
In a Facebook post in May 2013, Goylar posed as Farver to say that the reason she did not see her son Max was because he refused to run away with her. “I asked my son Max… to come with me, but you didn’t want to,” it read.
Max and Farver’s mother both testified that they had received messages on Mother’s Day 2014 from what turned out to be a fake Facebook account of Farver’s created by Goylar. Goylar even picked a feud with herself online, according to The Daily Beast, by posting a disparaging comment that she claimed was written about her by “Farver.”
“So now the Herpes infested whore is going to hide from me. Can’t be a woman and stand up for stealing me man. God will punish all whores,” it read.
In a final post on May 13, 2013, “Farver” announced that she was done with Facebook. Goylar calls it quits with Facebook, deciding then and there to stop playing Farver online:
“I have answered enough questions to prove myself to everyone I am done,” the post read. “You can’t [sic] either believe I am your daughter, mother, sister and friend that you have know [sic] your whole life or you can just leave me alone…I am not missing I just don’t want to come home right now…Sorry, and I hope some day you can forgive me.”
Though the body was never found, investigators were able to build a case against Goylar using circumstantial evidence, which included fingerprints on a packet of chewing gum found in Farver’s car. A photo that Goylar took also emerged that police said is her victim’s decomposing foot.
Goylar had a history of clashing with romantic rivals. In 2015, she called police and claimed that a woman had shot her in the leg — but an investigation concluded that she had in fact shot herself. In June 2016, Goylar pleaded guilty to smashing the window of another woman’s apartment.
Prosecutor Brenda Beadle called the murder case one of the “most calculated and bizarre” she has ever worked on. Farver’s body was never found, and her family still hopes to find out exactly what happened to her.
Main photo: Shanna Goylar (left) [Douglas County Jail] and Cari Farver (right) [Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office]