Memorial Plans for Seymour Avenue Lot

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CLEVELAND — Ariel Castro’s former ‘house of horrors’ is no more.

“Hell has left Seymour,” one neighbor said.

The demolition began about 7:00 a.m. Wednesday as the sound of church bells rang through the west side Cleveland neighborhood.

Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, escaped from the home in May after being held captive by Castro for about a decade.

By early evening Wednesday, all that was left of the Seymour Avenue house was a dirt lot. At the end of the day, crews put the chain link fence back up.

They also put the police tape back up. Crews still have to demolish two adjacent homes also once owned by Castro. That will take about ten days, according to Cleveland city council member Matt Zone.

"Then we plan on maybe planting a little bit of flowers at the back end of the lot, and maybe some grass, and maybe a nice white picket fence, just to make it look presentable, until we figure out what the community really wants," Zone said.

Zone said he is working with the survivors, neighbors and community members to see what they want on the land permanently.

"They range the whole gamut, everything form new housing, to green space, a community garden, to a memorial," Zone said

The process is expected to take many months. But for now, the 'house of horrors' no longer exists.

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