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Ariel Castro's nightmare house knocked down

10:32 AM, Aug 7, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Slideshow | Ariel Castro's House Demolished

Video: Michelle Knight returns to Seymour Avenue for demolition

Video: Michelle Knight prays at Castro home demolition

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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 the structure.

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 Channel 3 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 says 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.

WKYC-TV

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