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Cleveland House Where Three Women Were Held Is Demolished

posted 7 Aug 2013, 06:44 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Aug 2013, 06:45 ]

Demolition begins on Ariel Castro's house where he kept three woman imprisoned and tortured for roughly a decade.

CLEVELANDOHIOUNITED STATES (AUGUST 7, 2013) (NBC) -  Workers on Wednesday (August 7) began demolition of the rundownCleveland house where three young women were imprisoned and tortured for roughly a decade.

The razing came less than a week after Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years, for holding Michelle KnightGina DeJesus andAmanda Berry captive in his home on Cleveland's west side.

Michelle Knight was on hand for the demolition handing out yellow balloons to onlookers and neighborhood residents. Knight said the balloons represented all the missing children out in the world.

"Why it was important to be here today is because nobody was there for me when I was missing and I want the people out there to know, including the mothers, that they can have strength, they can have hope, and their child will come back, they will, just have the love in god and you'll see they'll come back," Knight said.

Castro's family members, including his son, Anthony Castro, went to the house on Monday, to retrieve personal items.

Ariel Castro, 53, signed the deed to the three-story house over to Cuyahoga Countywhen he pleaded guilty to 937 charges, including aggravated murder for causing Knight to miscarry by beating and starving her.

Knight, 32, Berry, 27, and DeJesus, 23, went missing from the west side ofCleveland between 2002 and 2004.

They were rescued, along with Berry's 6-year-old-daughter by Castro, on May 6 after neighbors heard Berry's cries and helped her break through the house's front door.

Police found more than $22,000 in a washing machine in the basement. The money will help pay for the demolition.

Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins, who represents the ward where the house is located, said his office is working on foreclosing on two adjacent, abandoned properties. Cummins said survivors and neighbors will help decide what to do with the properties.