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Crime News Unsung Heroes

Detective Adopts Boy Who Survived Family Massacre Committed By His Own Father

After Ronnie Blair survived an attack that took the lives of his mother and sister, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Detective Mike Blair and his wife Danyel adopted him.

By Gina Tron
Detective Adopts Boy Who Survived Family Massacre

A Florida detective and his wife have adopted a brave survivor of a family massacre and say he’s now their family.

Ronnie Blair survived a 2018 attack on his family by his father Ronnie Oneal which took the lives of his sister and mom. During the massacre, Oneal murdered Kenyatta Barron, the mother of his two children, and his own 9-year-old daughter, Ron’niveya. He also stabbed Blair and lit him on fire in their Riverview home when he was just 7. The boy barely survived the attack, but lived to bravely testify against his own father earlier this year at age 11, WTVT in Tampa reported earlier this year. 

Oneal was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

While he was still hospitalized following the attack, Blair was visited by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Det. Mike Blair, according to a heartwarming video by the sheriff’s department. As he was recovering from stab wounds and severe burns, Ronnie asked the sheriff if he’d stay and watch a movie with him. 

"He kind of held onto my hand as I left, and he said, ‘Could you watch a movie with me?’" Blair recalled. "I said no, I can’t. I gotta get back to work. … How about I come back and watch a movie with you tonight?"

Later that night, Mike and his wife Danyel kept visited to keep Blair company and watch a film.

"I had already known that I would want to take Ronnie home with us, starting that night," Danyel said in the video.

Five months later, the Blairs began the official adoption process. They adopted Ronnie, now 12, in 2019. 

“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 in the video.

He loves science and now wants to be an actor. He now lives alongside the Blairs' other five children.

"He knows he has a story that has been written for him," the detective said in the video. "He also knows he doesn’t want to be defined by that story."