Life
10-year-old adopted by detective after surviving horrific attack by father
The young boy had been stabbed and set on fire by his own dad. Now...he finally has a loving home he deserves.
Eduardo Gaskell
12.28.21

Young Ronnie Oneal has not had it easy.

In a horrifying act, His father killed his girlfriend, 9-year-old daughter, and then stabbed him. And as if that wasn’t enough, his dad set their family’s home on fire.

Detective Mike Blair of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was among the responders of the brutal March 2018 scene.

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“By the time I arrived that night, we were told there was a child being medevacked to Tampa General, but he was not expected to live,” Mike said.

Ronnie survived his injuries considering the gravity of the attack. Mike visited Ronnie in the hospital, and all the boy wanted was someone to watch a movie with.

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“He kinda held onto my hand and, as I left he said, ‘Could you watch a movie with me?’” Mike recalled.

Mike had to leave for work so he had to decline but he did promise Ronnie he’d be back that evening to watch a movie together. Ronnie was on a lot of painkillers and medication, but he understood Mike so he agreed before going back to sleep.

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Mike and his wife had plans of going out as a couple but he called her to ask if she wanted to change their plans.

“I said, ‘Hey, instead of doing date night, do you mind if we go watch a movie with this kid?’” he said.

Danyel, Mike’s wife, felt an instant connection upon meeting the young boy.

I had already known that I would want to take Ronnie home with us starting that night,” she said.

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And so they did. In 2019, the Blairs welcomed Ronnie into their home as the eighth member of their family. The boy survived, toughing out all his injuires. And now he’s loved once more.

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When the Guardian ad Litem contacted Mike asking if he knew anyone willing to adopt the boy, he had an instant answer.

“I said, ‘We’ll take him,’” he responded. “Just bring him to our house.”

The sheriff’s office shared updates of Ronnie with his enw family, and he told the office that he now attends a new church.

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“I have a different brother and sister. I have a different mom and dad. I have a different house,” he said. “It’s pretty cool to be with them.”

Ronnie is very happy with the Blairs, but he hasn’t forgotten about his mom and sister. He still wants everyone to know that he has good memories of them.

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“She was nice, pushed me on a swing, made me some good wings, made me all type of food. She was just a good mom,” he said. “My sister, she couldn’t talk, but she, like, could move her hand. We used to do sign language. She was very nice.”

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Ronnie is now 12. He knows his past but he doesn’t want to be remembered for that tragic moment in his life.

“He knows he has a story that has been written for him. He also knows he doesn’t want to be defined by that story,” Mike said.

Watch the video below for more on Ronnie’s story!

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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