A tearful Amanda Knox has reported that she feels "overwhelmed" at being back in America following Monday's verdict that acquitted her for the murder of her student housemate Meredith Kercher in Italy.
Knox landed at Seattle International Airport just after 5 p.m. local time, and immediately thanked all the people who had supported her through her trial and appeal over the past four years.
Knox, 24, had her conviction overturned on Monday – clearing her of the 2007 killing, after having spent nearly four years in jail.
The freed American joked that she had to be reminded to speak in English, rather than Italian, as she prepared to address them.
She went on to announce: "I'm really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real. Thank you to everyone who had believed in me, who had defended me, who has supported my family."
She added that she looked forward to spending time with her relatives.
Knox and her family quickly left to head home for a huge celebration. A party is believed to have been organized as she never had a proper 21st birthday.
Earlier in the day Knox was spotted at London’s Heathrow Airport where she and her family were taking a connecting flight from Rome to Seattle.
Various tabloids have made much of the fact that Knox could be set to make millions in TV, magazine, newspaper and book deals now that she is free.
Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova was called to check all of Knox’s documents before the American made her way to her flight in Rome. Dalla Vedova told reporters: “I spoke with her briefly. She was a bit worried about going through immigration and although her passport was valid she was still a little anxious as she was held in the airport police station for paperwork procedures.”
He added: “She was calm, serene and looking forward to going home and just spending time with her friends and family. She wants to get on with her life.
“She is a clever and intelligent girl who has been through a lot - one day in prison is bad enough but four years is even worse.”
There may be more drama ahead for Knox; as soon as her flight departed for London from Rome, Italian public prosecutor Giuliano Mignini made an announcement of his intentions to take her case to a third appeal. He called her acquittal a “massive mistake.”
A full judgment citing reasons for the overturning of Knox’s conviction will be released some time in the next 90 days by Appeals judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman. Once that is released, prosecutors are likely to go through the decision with a fine-tooth-comb to find any grounds possible to launch their appeal. Any such appeal would not take place until some time in 2012 at the earliest.