The Cleveland house where Ariel Castro held three women captive for a decade will be torn down this week, and his two children showed up Monday to salvage mementoes.
As part of his guilty plea to 937 counts of rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder, Castro is paying the county-overseen Cuyahoga Land Bank more than $22,000 to have the house demolished — a project that will begin Wednesday, the bank told NBC News on Monday.
Under the watchful eyes of Cleveland police, Angie and Anthony Castro arrived Monday morning at the house on Seymour Avenue where they spent part of their childhoods in the 1990s, NBC station WKYC of Cleveland reported. In what they called a "demolition party," they were allowed to remove family photos and other personal effects that were inside the house.
"There were a lot of personal photos that were in the house of the children, Angie and Anthony, who are here today, and they were able to find those things — some of the mementoes they had of their mother, as well," said Castro's attorney, Craig Weintraub. "They were amidst a lot of junk that's in that house."
Anthony Castro told NBC's TODAY last week that his father "doesn't have any value for human life," and Monday, he said it was emotional and difficult for him and his sister to go back into the house.
"It's stressful to do this, but this is one of the last steps for our family to put this all behind us, and we're looking forward to doing that," Anthony Castro told WKYC.
Michelle Knight — one of the three women Castro kidnapped between 2002 and 2004 and held until they escaped in May, along with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus — visited the street Friday to thank neighbors for their support.
"She didn't say a lot. She thanked us," Altagracia Tejeda, the neighbor across the street from Castro's house, told NBC News.
Catherine Cetta of NBC News contributed to this report.
First published August 5 2013, 1:44 PM