Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Amanda Knox parents could not believe daughter was killer

From left, of Italian student Raffaele Sollecito, slain British woman Meredith Kercher and her American roommate Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox looks on during a break in the trial at the court in Perugia, central Italy (AP)
Amanda Knox

Since Amanda Knox was locked up on suspicion of murder, her parents spared no expense fighting for her freedom.

The first her mother, Edda Mellas, knew about what had happened was when she received a phone call from her daughter in Italy, who told her she thought someone might have been in her house.

A few hours later, she received another call.

This time there was panic in her daughter's voice. Police had found a body in the room of her house mate Meredith Kercher and officers wanted to talk to her, she said.

This is how Ms Mellas has described the series of events which led to her daughter's arrest.

Hundreds of miles across the Atlantic, she decided to fly out to Europe to provide her daughter with moral support.

But by the time she landed - in Switzerland rather than Italy, as her flight had been diverted - her daughter was already in jail.

She has told of how she felt "physically ill" when she heard the news and had to go to the bathroom to throw up.

Knox had had the chance to leave after the body had been discovered, her mother said, but she chose not to.

Speaking on CNN in October, Ms Mellas said: "She had many opportunities (to leave). Many people asked her to leave and she said no, I'm going to stay, I'm going to try to help, I'm going to try and finish school."

This decision cost her and her parents dear in every way.

Apart from the evident pain caused to Ms Ellas and Knox's father Curt Knox at seeing their daughter behind bars, they have also suffered huge financial losses.

Convinced of their daughter's innocence from the start, they did everything they could to secure her release.

"It's called being leveraged to the hilt," Mr Knox told a US newspaper last year. "Literally, we'll have nothing. And we'll do whatever it takes."

The former couple spent heavily not just on their daughter's defence but also on repeated trips to Perugia during their daughter's imprisonment and trial.

And they never gave up hope. For two years they hung on, waiting for the court to come out with what they described as "the right answer" in the end.

As the end of the trial approached, they dared to hope she would be home for Christmas and to make plans for after her release.

But the jury had other ideas.

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