One of three women held captive, beaten and raped in an Ohio home for more than a decade watched as the house of horrors was demolished.
"For the love of the missing people," Michelle Knight, 32, shouted as a small crowd joined her in releasing yellow balloons before a wrecking crew reduced the white ramshackle home to rubble.
The demolition in Cleveland came days after her tormentor, Ariel Castro, was sentenced to life in prison plus more than 1,000 years.
Lured into the car of a man they knew as the father of a friend or classmate at the ages of 20, 16, and 14, the women suffered beatings and repeated rapes.
The case came to light after Amanda Berry, 27, managed to escape with her six-year-old daughter by calling out to a neighbor for help through a locked front door on May 6.
More than 42kg of chains were found in the filthy, darkened home where the women were kept in locked rooms with boarded up windows.
"I feel very liberated that people think of me as a hero and a role model and I would love continuing to be that," Knight told reporters as she held a sign she'd made for other missing people declaring "you are loved never forgotten."
Victim Gina DeJesus, 23, was represented by an aunt who manned the excavator controls for the first dig into the two and a half storey wooden home in a working class neighborhood of Cleveland.