CLEVELAND – News that Ariel Castro’s Seymour Avenue home will be demolished energized residents on Friday.
“Once they tear the house down, they won’t have nothing to look at,” said De’Andrea Harris, who lives across the street from Castro’s home.
“It’s going to be destroyed,” said Aurora Marti in Spanish. She also lives on Seymour. “It’s better for us. We will have better memories. It will be more peaceful.”
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty made the announcement Friday after Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts in a deal to avoid the death penalty. The two abandoned homes directly to the west of Castro’s house will also be demolished.
“I’m ashamed to live here,” Harris said. “My friends don’t want to come over.”
Residents said they’re tired of the commotion surrounding the house: the police, the gawkers and the traffic.
“You got constantly people coming by taking pictures, looking, pointing, any time of the day,” Harris said.
“Many people travel here to see the house,” Marti said.
Prior to the discovery that Castro held three women for more than decade, residents said Seymour Avenue was very quiet.
Despite the incident, they described the street as close-knit and friendly. Neighbors know and socialize with one another.
“I always sit out in the summer,” said Marti who’s lived on Seymour for 27 years.
Marti is confident Seymour will be what it once was again and she said she’s not going anywhere. Harris isn’t certain of her plans. She moved to the street in January and is still shaken up by the situation, especially because as a child, she and Gena DeJesus were friends.
“For me to be 22 now and moved on Seymour, not even knowing that she’s living right across the street from me,” Harris said. “It was horrifying.”