RIVER FALLS, Wis. (AP) – The western Wisconsin house where a construction worker killed his three daughters last year will be dismantled next week, with salvageable materials such as doors and trusses being donated to the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity.
Instead of being demolished, the River Falls house will be taken apart piece by piece starting Monday. Eventually, the property will be bulldozed and sold, with proceeds from the sale donated to help build a River Falls playground in memory of Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.
“We’re so excited and happy and delighted,” the girls’ grandmother, Becky Stotz of Springfield, Ill., told the Leader-Telegram on Monday. “To us, it’s like, ‘Wow.’ It kind of will help wipe the slate clean, not totally, but partly.”
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union of St. Paul, Minn., held the note on the home. Affinity Plus acting president and CEO Dave Larson told KARE-TV the decision was made after discussions with the girls’ mother, Jessica Schaffhausen.
“As an organization, we strive to do what’s right,” Larson said.
He said a number of companies who are helping dismantle the house are donating their services, so more money can go to the proposed Tri-Angels memorial playground.
Prosecutors say Aaron Schaffhausen, who was living in Minot, N.D., killed the girls in July 2012 to get back at their mother, who was his ex-wife. He claimed he was insane but was sentenced this July to life in prison with no chance of parole.
With help from family, friends and community members, Jessica Schaffhausen already has staged a 5K race and an auction of artwork by her daughters to help raise money for the playground.