RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) — The home where one of the most infamous murders in recent area history happened was on the auction block on Tuesday.
The opening bid for the River Falls, Wis., home — where the three Schaffhausen girls were murdered by their father — was $180,000.
But no one bid on it.
Aaron Schaffhausen’s family originally tried to sell the home, but the sale was stopped after the girls’ mother protested.
Now a small pile of stuffed animals are piled at the door step of the home and a poignant note reads, “Peace to all who enter here. This house has so many happy memories.”
Neighbor Tami Duran knew the girls said it’s still painful.
“I can’t imagine anyone wanting to live there after what happened,” she said. “It’s difficult just walking by it daily; you always glance over and remember.”
Duran said she and most neighbors want the home torn down.
“I think they would like to see it demolished and a memorial put up for the kids,” she said.
With no sale the home is still owned by lender Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, and the firms’ attorneys declined to comment.
Mother Jessica Schaffhausen has poured her efforts into raising money to build a handicapped accessible playground in the girls’ honor. Last week an auction of the girls’ artwork got underway, and bids are coming in from around the country.
“I know there have been calls from Hawaii, California, and Colorado,” fundraising coordinator Samantha Jensen said.
The auction goes through Aug. 21. Jensen said the bidding is going so well it will be moved to eBay later this week.
The goal is to raise $500,000 for the new playground. A number of local companies are also promising to donate material and labor.
A fun run earlier this summer had 1,400 participants and raised $60,000.