(PERUGIA, Italy) -- Amanda Knox's first comments since she was acquitted of murder have arrived in a written letter of thanks to a U.S.- Italian foundation for supporting her through her four-year ordeal.
Knox was thankful people were there, "To hold my hand and offer the support and respect through the barriers and controversies of the Italians. There was the Italy U.S.A. Foundation, and many who have shared my pain and helped me to survive on hope," Knox wrote Tuesday in a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Italy-U.S. Foundation, Corrado Maria Daclon.
"I am forever grateful for their caring hospitality and their courageous efforts. Those who wrote to me, who defended me, who stayed close to me, who prayed for me. We are forever grateful. I love you. Amanda," the letter read.
The Italy-U.S. Foundation said Knox departed shortly after noon on Tuesday from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. After a layover, she's set to board a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to arrive Tuesday evening in her hometown of Seattle.
Daclon confirmed that he was with Knox from Monday night when he went to see her at prison, until Tuesday morning when he left her at the airport gate. He confirmed that he and Knox went through special security channels and that the rest of the Knox family departed on same flight.
"She is very tried... it's a mix of emotions...," Daclon told ABC News. "Tired by this long limbo of a year's appeal trial...the uncertainty of the result made her more tense and she was very worried."
He said that Knox said nothing when they departed.
"We just hugged and looked at each other," he said.
"She told me that she has nothing against Italy and the Italians. She is just upset about the judicial mistake but she has said she will come back to Italy," Daclon said she told him early Tuesday morning.
Knox, 24, and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, were convicted in December 2009 of killing her roommate Meredith Kercher in a 2007 attack that left the British exchange student partially nude and bleeding to death from a slashed throat. Sollecito was also acquitted of the murder on Monday.
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