Amanda Knox Leaves Italy for U.S. After Guilty Verdict Overturned (Video)

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"She just couldn't wait to get on the plane," her friend says on the CBS "Early Show" Tuesday.

Amanda Knox left Italy the same day her conviction for murder was overturned, the Italy-US Foundation confirms to CBS News.

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Knox went from Perugia -- where she had spent four years in jail for allegedly stabbing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, to death  -- to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport with her family.

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The foundation said she will fly to London from there, and then back to the United States. She is from Seattle.

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Photographers from the Associated Press spotted Knox's family members at the airport. CBS News reports that Knox may have been escorted by police through a private entrance to the airport.

Said her friend Giulia Alagna on the Early Show Tuesday, "She just couldn't wait to get on the plane. She told me that, even though she wasn't yet on the plane, she felt like she was already flying."

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"She was just very, very happy to get on that flight," added Alagna, who spoke to Knox Tuesday morning as she awaited to board the plane. Alagna said Knox's voice sounded "strong."

"During the trip from Perugia to Rome Amanda was serene," said Corrado Maria Daclon, the secretary general of the Italy-US Foundation. "She confirmed to me that in the future she intends to come back to our country."

Knox released a statement via the foundation to thank those who "who shared my suffering and helped me survive with hope… Those who wrote, those who defended me, those who were close, those who prayed for me. I love you, Amanda."

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Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of murdering Kercher. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in jail, Sollecito to 25. Sollecito was also released Monday.

The jury spent 11 hours deliberating on whether they should overturn the conviction in light of new DNA evidence that weakened the prosecution's argument that Knox's DNA was on a knife found at the scene.

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