CLEVELAND -- The house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for a decade is gone.
Demolition crews made quick work of reducing the house at 2207
Seymour to a pile of rubble. It took about an hour or so to knock down
About 100 people gathered to watch the house be demolished, including
Gina DeJesus' family. Cheers erupted as the heavy equipment tore
through the roof and walls of the house.
It's just the first step forward for the community. Prosecutor Tim
McGinty tells WKYC the county has acquired the deeds to the two
abandoned homes next to Castro's. Those houses are expected to be torn
down by the end of the month. The county is also trying to acquire two
lots adjacent to those homes.
McGinty said it's hoped by the end of 2013, plans can be finalized as to
how the community will reuse the entire stretch of land. Possible uses
include building a park or garden.
Ariel Castro signed over the house as part of a plea deal he accepted
on July 26. Castro pleaded guilty to numerous counts of rape,
kidnapping and aggravated murder.
The captivity ended for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight on May 6 when they were rescued.
Castro was sentenced on August 1 to life without parole plus 1,000 years.
Before the demolition, Michelle Knight arrived on Seymour to release a
bunch of yellow balloons. She said they were for those out there still
missing waiting to be found.
Over the last few days, Castro's family members have taken personal items from the home.
Prosecutors say Castro cried when he signed over the house deed and mentioned his "many happy memories" there with the women.