Relatives said the house razing was part of the healing process for them. “It’s sad and hard but it is necessary for us to move on,” Anthony Castro told WKYC-TV.
The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each had accepted a ride from Castro.
They escaped May 6, when Amanda Berry, now 27, broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that evening.
At Castro’s sentencing, prosecutors displayed photos that provided a first glimpse inside the rooms where the women lived.
Stuffed animals lined the bed and crayon drawings were taped to the wall where Berry lived with her young daughter, who was fathered by Castro. One of the drawings on a shelf said, “Happy Birthday.”
The window was boarded shut and door knobs had been removed and replaced with multiple locks. Saucer-size holes in inside doors were meant for circulation.
Another room, shared by Knight and Gina DeJesus, had a portable toilet, a clock radio and several chains.
The house, which quickly became a drive-by attraction after the women fled to freedom, was fenced off and kept under 24-hour police guard amid arson threats.