Gone But Never Forgotten
We had just started our 9th grade year at Atkins High School. The hallways buzzed with summer gossip and talk about the year ahead of us. Students gathered to compare schedules and point out new students. We talked about all the "normal" things like "cute boys" and what we did over the summer. If we regretted that school had come along and ended our summers way too soon, we were at least happy to see our old friends and make some new ones. In every way it seemed like a normal school year starting, little did we know what was ahead of us. On the second day of school, I saw my friend Ronda Blaylock just outside our class room and we stopped to chat for a few minutes. Ronda was about to tell me something when three of our friends from the previous year walked up. I will always wonder what it was that she wanted to tell me but that is a secret the answer to which I will probably never know. Ronda promised to call me after school and tell me whatever it was she'd wanted to say. I never got that phone call.
After school, Ronda went home with one of our friends. Later, the two girls walked back to Ronda's house and she changed clothes and started walking the other girl back home. A pick up truck came by and offered them a ride. The two girls got in and according to the girl's story the driver dropped her off at her house and she never saw Ronda again.
Thirty years later I am still wondering why either of those girls would have gotten in a vehicle with a stranger. And if he wasn't a stranger why didn't our friend identify him positively for the police. My theory has always been that one or both girls did know the driver (much better than the friend let on to the police.) All these years I have also wondered what it was that Ronda had found out that she wanted to tell me but didn't. Was that cost of that secret her life? Did Ronda's abrupt ending of that conversation perhaps save my life? After all this time we are left wiith so many unanswered questions.
Ronda was a beautiful young girl. Always happy. She was a little shy and reserved until she got to know you but always friendly and sweet to her friends and school mates. In the years that I knew her, I never heard her say an unkind word to anyone. I never heard her join in when people made fun of someone. She was always kind to everyone. I can't imagine what could have caused her tragic murder. I only know that she was taken from us far too soon. I will NEVER forget her or stop praying that she finally gets justice.
The following pages are exerpts from The Winston-Salem Journal that tell her story, (as much as we know) as it unfolded. I beg of anyone reading this who has ANY information about this crime to please contact one of the following agencies and tell them what you know.
Surry County Sheriff's Department 1-336-401-8900
North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation 919-662-4500
PO Box 29500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27626