Kenyatta Barron placed a distressed call to 911, called for help and begged for her life. Ronnie Oneal III had just stabbed 7 year old Ronnie and set him on fire in their home in Riverview, Hillsborough County. That same night, the father murdered the boy’s mother and sister.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Blair responded to the sight, not really knowing what to anticipate. Blair explained that by the time he arrived that night, they were told there was a child being transported to the hospital but he was not likely to live.
Being a murder detective of many years, Blair thought he had seen and experienced it all but it eventually turns out that he hadn’t. Detective Blair’s involvement came largely not through the case itself but via the connection he would form with little Ronnie after a trip to the hospital. Blair summarise this as something God had planned for him.
Detective Blair was able to bring Ronnie from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while he recuperated in hospital. The two hit up a friendship and one night when Blair was leaving, Ronnie reached out and took his hand. Blair said that Ronnie kind of held on to his hand as he left and he said, ‘could you watch a movie with me”?
Detective Blair had to leave for work, but came up with an idea. Blair and his wife were planning to go on a date that night. Blair said to his wives that instead of doing date night, would she mind watch a movie with Ronnie?
Blair and partner Danyel have five kids of their own, but they put aside plans for their date and instead went to the hospital together. Danyel said that she had already known that she would want to take Ronnie home with them.
At the same time, a Guardian Ad Litem was overseeing Ronnie’s care and the couple happened to meet Litem in the hospital. They tell the guardian to call them if Ronnie ever needs anything.
And it wasn’t long before Blair got a call. He was driving to church when he received the call from the guardian. The guardian asked him if he knows somebody who can help him out.
Blair’s partner, Danyel knew the time had come. She had already started praying that God would soften Blair’s heart to bring Ronnie home with them. Their 5 children were right on board when the call came. Their kids also said to Blair that he just need to go with their mother’s thought and they do feel that they all need to start fostering.
Fast forward to present and 7-year-old Ronnie has a new forever home. Ronnie said that they are the best moms and dads and they really take care of him. Ronnie added that there is no one else better than them.
When Ronnie is stressed, he repeats that ‘I am safe, I am loved and I am part of this family’.” This seems like a family mantra for the Blair household.