After facing terrible agony, a little kid is being given a second chance, thanks to the detective who responded to the call on the night his life was forever changed.
According to a video from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO), Detective Mike Blair and his wife Danyel realized they had to take in Ronnie Oneal IV and give him a fresh life following his tragic ordeal in 2018.
Blair, a father of five, stated in the video, "He knows he has a tale that has been written for him." "However, he is aware that he does not want to be defined by that story."
Ronnie was just 8 years old when his mother and 9-year-old sister were brutally murdered by his father, according to the sheriff's department.
That evening, HCSO Detective Mike Blair arrived on the scene and learned that little Ronnie had also been attacked, stabbed, and set on fire by his father. (According to NBC station WFLA, Ronnie Oneal III was sentenced to three life sentences plus 60 years in prison for the murders.)
Blair said in the video, "We were told there was a youngster being medevacked to Tampa General, but he wasn't expected to live."
Sheriff Ronnie Oneal IV hcso
Blair would frequently visit Ronnie in the hospital, giving him gifts from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with whom he has a connection, according to WFLA.
"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 continued.
Danyel agreed — and it wasn't long before the couple knew they had to do more for Ronnie.
"I had already known that I would want to take Ronnie home with us, starting that night," Danyel recalled in the sheriff's department video.
According to WFLA, Ronnie was living with family members who were having troubles in their home at the time. According to the publication, a Guardian Ad Litem was supervising his care and later approached the Blairs about taking him in.
"I was driving when I got the phone call, and I was driving by our church, and the guardian was asking, 'Do you know of anyone who can assist us out,'" Blair explained to the site.
"I had already started praying that God would soften Michael's heart and say, 'Okay, sure, we have a place, and Ronnie belongs among us,'" Danyel continued.
Blair stated that the couple's five children were on board: "My kids had came to me... and said to me, 'Dad, you just need to go with Mom and start fostering.
The Blairs made it happen in 2019. After a five-month process, they took Ronnie in as their own, officially becoming a family of eight, according to the sheriff's department video.
"The easiest way to surmise the whole, this is — it's been a God thing for us," Blair said, per WFLA.
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