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Amanda Knox returns to Seattle after four-year Italian ordeal

October 4, 2011 |  6:55 pm

Amanda 

Looking shaken and shy, Amanda Knox returned home to Seattle on Tuesday, ending a four-year Italian ordeal that began when her roommate was brutally slain and she was imprisoned for the crime.

Appearing before a madhouse of television cameras, jostling reporters and security guards at Seattle-Tacoma airport, the diminutive Knox at first hunched over, apparently overwhelmed, then tearfully spoke to her hometown.

Photos: Amanda Knox

“I’m really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane, and it seemed like everything wasn’t real,” she said, her voice quaking.

“What’s important for me to say is just thank you to everyone who’s believed in me, who’s defended me, who’s supported my family,” she said.

Moments later, Knox left with her parents, stepparents and other family members.

Knox's conviction in Meredith Kercher's death was overturned by an appellate panel Monday amid evidence casting doubt on the DNA that supposedly linked her and her boyfriend to the crime. His conviction also was voided.

The working-class West Seattle neighborhood where Knox lived before traveling to Italy to study sprouted “Welcome Home Amanda” posters and, it seemed, a big population of well-wishers.

A few showed up at the airport.

“I came to support her,” said Stephanie Torreblanca, a 21-year-old student at a local community college who said she’d studied Knox’s case in her criminal justice class.

“I think she’s innocent. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” she said.

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Photos: Amanda Knox

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-- Kim Murphy in Seattle

Photo: Amanda Knox at a news conference in Seattle on Tuesday. Credit: Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

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