Knox thanks Italians who supported her

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PERUGIA, Italy (AP) -- Amanda Knox has thanked those Italians who supported her throughout her four years of prison, a day after an appeals court cleared the young American of murdering her British roommate, and freed her.

Knox left her prison outside Perugia Monday night, less than two hours after the verdict was read out in court. She was expected to leave Tuesday for the United States. Her whereabouts was unknown.

Knox thanked those "who shared my suffering and helped me survive with hope," in a letter to a foundation that seeks to promote ties between Italy and the United States and which has always championed her cause.

Knox was convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith Kercher. The appeals court overturned the conviction.