TODAY   |  August 07, 2013

Ariel Castro’s house to be torn down today

Under the watchful eye of the police, Ariel Castro’s son, helped by friends and family, salvaged sentimental items from his father’s house, which is scheduled to be torn down today. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> the demolition of the house where ariel castro held three women hostage for a year. nbc's john yang is there. john, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning. michelle knight is here as part of an effort to move on with her life to watch the demolition of this house. it will take about a day to tear the house down but much longer to erase the memories of what happened inside. under the watchful eye of police, ariel castro 's son anthony salvaged sentimental items from the house including musical instruments and photos.

>> it's difficult. it's stressful to do this but this is one of the last steps.

>> reporter: those empty of belongings the house is full of painful memories for amanda berry, gina dejesus, and michelle knight, the three women held captive here for 11 years. years that knight described last week at castro 's sentencing.

>> days never got shorter. days turned into nights. night turned into days. years turned into eternity .

>>> living in bedrooms with toys and musical instruments but also with 99 feet of heavy iron chains strung through the walls to hold the women. windows nailed shut and an alarm system on the doors. their only bathrooms, plastic toilets rarely emptied. they were fed just one meal a day. as castro begins a life sentence in prison, the women are trying to move on with their lives. berry recently appearing on stage at a concert by rapper nelly and dejesus riding in the city's puerto rican parade. anthony castro wants to do what he can to help.

>> we would like to honor the wish of the victims and give them respect.

>> reporter: he hopes today's demolition is a step in that direction.

>> there's a lot of horrible memories for many people here and it's for the best for this house to be demolished.

>> reporter: and that demolition work scheduled to begin in the next 45 minutes, but on google, on their google street view it's already gone. blurred out of view to get it out of sight, matt.

>>> john yang in cleveland this morning. john, thank you very