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Cleveland abductions: Ariel Castro’s house to be fenced

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 09:51

Zee Media Bureau

Ohio: The haunting house of Ariel Castro, kidnapping and rape suspect, where the three abducted women were held, will soon be guarded by a 10-foot fence to reportedly keep the stream of curious onlookers out.

While police is collecting evidence from the house, the neighbours prefer to have the house torn down and erase its presence in the neighbourhood, as per a news agency report.

"The girls that was in that house, when they ride by there, if they ever ride by there again, they won`t have to see that, to remind them or maybe scare them," said Johnny Wright, 54, who can see the back of the house from his front door. "What they went through, I don`t think any human being should ever been through that."

The house and what becomes of it will be a daily talking point for the Seymour community, as city officials deal with the irony of keeping the dreaded site of the women`s imprisonment safe while neighbors almost uniformly want it torn down.

The issue isn`t a simple one.

First and foremost, it`s evidence against Castro, who investigators say kept the women in chains in a basement before eventually allowing them to live under close control upstairs. The 6-year-old daughter of one victim, Amanda Berry, was also freed; DNA tests showed Castro was her father, a dark twist on years of captivity during which Castro is also alleged to have induced multiple miscarriages in one of the women by repeatedly punching her belly.

The nondescript white house with a red-and-white tile roof sits on a street of other boarded-up houses, victims of the foreclosure crisis which hit the city hard. The house has thousands of dollars in unpaid tax liens, which would have to be sorted out as the city attempts to control the property. County records show it was built in 1890 and updated in 1950. Forty-two years later, Castro bought it for $12,000.

Workers over the weekend began boarding up windows and doors and erecting a metal fence around the house.

The plywood and fence have a two-fold purpose, said Councilman Brian Cummins: preserving the scene as evidence and protecting it from the threats already circulating on the streets to burn it down in a stroke of vigilante justice.

It`s a decision for neighbors and also for the women, said Cummins, whose ward encompasses the property and who is in close contact with police and city officials about the situation.

"The issue is how do we respect the wishes of the survivors in this case and it`s too premature to know what their wishes would be," Cummins said Saturday.

(With Agency Inputs)

First Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 - 16:12
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