Abandoned house torn down
Mary Milz/Eyewitness News
Marion County - The City of Indianapolis is hoping to crack down on crime by tearing down abandoned houses.
Monday morning, several city officials were on hand as crews began demolishing a house along North Grant, the scene of a death investigation last week. Police hope not only to curb the summer crime spike, but also to send a message to would-be criminals and neighbors alike.
"Homes like this are an affliction in quality neighborhoods in our city. As you have an opportunity to look up and down the street you can seen many well kept homes here on Grant Avenue and we're very proud this morning to be here to witness the removal of this home," said Chief Michael Spears, IMPD.
Some who drove by actually cheered.
"I'm glad it's torn down," said Butch, a passing driver.
"We was going to do it ourself if nobody did it because that was our family, man, and nobody should have to go through it," said Rachel Kelsey.
"I'm glad to see that eyesore finally gone. I've lived here for about four years and the house has been nothing but trouble. A lot of traffic running in and out of it," said Tammy Marks, resident.
Marks added, "We try to keep our yards cleaned up around here, looking nice. It's just an eyesore. Maybe it might cut down some of this stuff that's been going on, I hope."
Ginger Adams, 22, was found dead near the house last weekend. While police don't believe she was a victim of homicide, "Nevertheless the discovery of her body outside the home is very disturbing," said Chief Spears.
The discovery of Adams' body prompted Mayor Greg Ballard to have the house, which was already slated for demolition, torn down ahead of schedule.
Neighbors want to know what will happen to the other abandoned houses on their street.
"I think it's a shame it takes the mayor, it takes a dead body to get this house here ten years or more down," said Megan Noble, resident.
"This is one of the biggest complaints we receive in the city, what to do about abandoned houses," said Olgen Williams, deputy mayor of neighborhoods.
Like the property that was taken down Monday, many of the city's troubled houses are owned by people who live out of state who buy the houses at a tax or sheriff's sale and sit on them. Only after they fail to pay taxes twice in a row can the city start to move in.
"The demo order on this house was because it's unsafe. He went through due process," said Franklin.
Carla Hix, a landlord herself, says the state needs tougher laws.
"I wouldn't dare let this happen, if that house was on fire or condemned, it would go down. I'd take every dime I had to stop this stuff," said Hix.
The Grant Ave. home is the 90th house the city has torn down so far this year. Another 74 are slated for demolition. It took about two hours to demolish the house.