Amanda Knox Thanks Supporters, Returns Home to Seattle

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The last leg of the departure plan, he said, was "a 12-man police escort to get her through the airport." He said the operation was dubbed "Return to Freedom."

Corrado accompanied Knox out of the prison and into a waiting car, which took them through a swarm of 100 paparazzi, he said.

"We had a very fast car. ... It was just us two and driver in the car," he said.

They were trailed by a convoy of paparazzi on motorcycles, so they sped off on a country road, changing directions several times until they lost the media. Once they were alone on the road, they headed for Rome.

"We met up with the rest of the family along the way," Daclon said. About 15 family members and friends accompanied Knox to Rome.

"She spent the night in a protected place. It was not a public place, in the area of Rome. Not a hotel as she would have been discovered immediately when she had to hand in her passport to be registered," he said.

Knox and her mother, Edda Mellas, stayed together while the rest of the family registered at a hotel. Daclon picked up Knox again this morning at 8:30 a.m. and headed for the airport.

Knox thanked Daclon and her supporters in a letter released today.

"To hold my hand and offer the support and respect through the barriers and controversies of the Italians. There was the Italy USA Foundation, and many who have shared my pain and helped me to survive on hope," Knox wrote.

"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.

ABC News' Suzan Clarke and Mark Mooney contributed to this report.

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