When police officers and detectives answer the calls of people in need of help, they don’t really know what to expect at the scene.
Sometimes, those calls are serendipitous, just like in the case of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Blair and a young boy who was stabbed multiply times, set on fire, and was left fighting for his life.
When Mike arrived in the house of then 7-year-old Ronnie, the boy had already been taken to the hospital, but the chances of his survival were slim. His father had stabbed him and killed his mother and sister.
“I am safe, I am loved, I am part of this family.”
Little Ronnie, the Riverview boy who was stabbed and set on fire the night his mom and sister were murdered is moving forward with help from an @HCSOSheriff detective and his family who adopted the boy. https://t.co/j2SZs0HCF3 pic.twitter.com/xUCuFbfe9U
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) July 27, 2021
Poor Ronnie was now all by himself. In one moment, he lost everyone he loved, and his sad story touched Detective Mike to the core.
During Ronnie’s recovery, Mike would often visit him and bring him a bunch of things from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over time, their bond became very strong and Mike was basically the only person Ronnie was comfortable around.
BEYOND THE TRIAL
Family that adopted young double-murder survivor shares their story of faith and healing for the first time since Ronnie Oneal III’s murder trial.@WFLAJeff has little Ronnie’s story of survival and adoption TONIGHT at 6 on @WFLA.https://t.co/MCcdXpg3VZ
— Jennifer Peñate (@WFLAJennifer) July 27, 2021
One day, as Mike was about to leave the hospital, Ronnie grabbed him by his hand. “He kind of held on to my hand as I left, and he said, ‘could you watch a movie with me?’” Mike said. Although he was supposed to go out with his wife Danyel Blair that night, Mike couldn’t leave Ronnie and asked Danyel if she minded going with him to the hospital instead. She was more than happy to spend some time with Ronnie.
That night was a turning point in Ronnie’s life as Danyel realized that boy belonged with them. Although they had five children on their own, welcoming Ronnie to the family seemed like the perfect decision.
‘She was just a good mom’: Little Ronnie tells @WFLAJeff how he wants people to remember his mom & sister after Ronnie Oneal III trial. Watch tonight at 6: https://t.co/9rElJAxOVf pic.twitter.com/2QEBEhFnm1
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) July 27, 2021
On their way out of the hospital that night, the Blairs happened to meet the guardian who was supervising Ronnie’s case. Mike asked to be contacted in case Ronnie needed anything, and some time later, they indeed got a call.
“When I got the phone call, I was driving, and I was driving by our church and the guardian was asking, ‘do you know of somebody who can help us out,’” Mike told WFLA News. It was then that Danyel asked Mike to foster little Ronnie. Their kids loved the idea, and soon after, the boy was home.
A judge sentenced Florida man Ronnie Oneal III to three life terms plus 60 years in prison to run consecutively for the murder of his girlfriend and their disabled daughter, and the attempted murder of his son. https://t.co/9HiQv0byGm
— WNCT (@wnct9) July 26, 2021
Today, three years after the horrible incident, Ronnie got officially adopted by the detective who responded to the call.
“They are really nice people. They are the best moms and dads, and they really take care of me. There is no one else better than them,” Ronnie said.
The father, Ronnie Oneal III, who committed the killing was sentenced to three life terms plus 60 years.
The Blairs gave Ronnie hope when he needed it the most and changed his life for the best. Thank you, you are incredible people.