Ariel Castro's house of horrors has been demolished Wednesday morning.
Demolition crews leveled the house where three women were held captive for ten years and repeatedly raped by their captor.
Residents and onlookers gathered at 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, to watch the home being demolished. They cheered as the home was bulldozed and reduced to a rubble.
The demolition of the house was streamed live, and victim Michele Knight was in attendance to see the house where she was beaten and repeatedly raped being destroyed. She arrived at the scene at 7 a.m. this morning with yellow balloons and handed them out to neighbors, thanking them for their support. The balloons represented the missing children that have never been found.
She prayed at the scene. "Dear Lord, give the missing people strength and power to know they are loved, we hear their cries, they are never forgotten in my heart. They are caterpillars waiting to be turned into butterflies. I want the people to know, including the mothers, that they can have strength, they can have hope, and their child will come back."
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus was not there.
The house was torn down with the $22,000 of cash found in Ariel Castro's washing machine. A symbol of hope will be put in its place, but there are no plans as to what will become of the land where the house of horrors once stood. The three victims will decide what to put in the spot. The families of the victims took some personal items from the home over the past few days before the demolition.
The demolition of the house was part of a plea deal to spare Castro from a possible death sentence. The kidnapper reportedly cried when he signed over the deeds to his house, saying that he had "many happy memories" there.
Berry, DeJesus and Knight were abducted by Castro between 2002 and 2004. Berry was 16, DeJesus, 14, and Knight, 21, when they were kidnapped and held captive for about ten years. They were finally freed in May this year when Berry managed to escape and call the police.
Castro, 53, was sentenced to life in prison, plus 1,000 years, without parole last week. He pleaded guilty to 937 charges of rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder.
Watch the demolition below:
Watch Michele Knight's statement below: