On March 18, 2018, Kenyatta Barron made a desperate 911 call, pleading for help and begging for her life.
Ronnie Oneal III used a shotgun to kill his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron, 33. He killed their 9-year-old daughter Ron’Niveya Oneal with hatchet blows and then disemboweled their son Ronnie Oneal IV, who was eight at the time, before pouring gasoline all over the house and setting it on fire, Tampa Bay Times reported.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Blair was dispatched to the scene that night.
“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,” Blair said.
Throughout his career, the veteran officer has answered hundreds of calls. However, this call changed his life forever.
According to the PEOPLE, that evening, HCSO Detective Mike Blair arrived on the scene and discovered that little Ronnie had been attacked, stabbed, and set on fire.
Ronnie Oneal III was sentenced to three life terms plus 60 years in prison for the murders, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.
“We were told there was a child being medevacked to Tampa General, but he was not expected to live,” Blair recalled.
Blair would frequently visit Ronnie, a football fan, in the hospital, giving him gifts from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cheer him up, according to WFLA.
But it wasn’t until one particularly memorable evening that Blair realized the importance of his visits to Ronnie. Ronnie had a request for Blair one night, and the two began to bond over football.
“He kind of held on to my hand as I left, and he said, ‘Could you watch a movie with me?’ and I said, ‘No I can’t, I’ve gotta get back to work,'” Blair recalled in the video. “And I said, ‘How ’bout I come back and watch a movie with you tonight?'”
“I called my wife and we were planning to go on a date night that night and I said, ‘Hey, instead of doing date night, do you mind if we watch a movie with this kid?'” Blair went on.
Mike and Danyel Blair are parents to five children, and they decided to cancel their “date night” and went to the hospital instead.
“I had already known that I would want to take Ronnie home with us, starting that night,” Danyel Blair said.
Ronnie was actually being looked after by other members of the family, but there were problems at home.
So, thankfully, a guardian ad litem was appointed.
“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,’” Blair said.
Danyel had been praying for Blair to agree to adopt Ronnie, and their children had also encouraged him to do so.
“My kids had come to me at one point in this period of time and said to me, ‘Dad, you just need to go with Mom on this; we need to start fostering,’” Detective Blair said.
Ronnie is now surrounded by a caring family who will always look after him.
And if he forgets, he can simply remind himself of his family’s mantra: “I am safe, I am loved, and I am part of this family.”
“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,” Little Ronnie said.