Knox's family claims shoddy work, mental abuse by Italian police

Knox's family claims shoddy work, mental abuse by Italian police »Play Video
In this photo taken Friday Nov. 2, 2007, Amanda Knox looks on outside the house Meredith Kercher was found dead.
SEATTLE -- Seven months have passed since University of Washington student Amanda Knox was locked up in an Italian prison, accused in the death of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

Knox has not been charged with a crime; however, she's been denied release numerous times and her parents have had enough.

They're now speaking about what they call shoddy police work, disputed evidence and misinformation that are muddying up the case. And for the first time, Knox's younger sisters are sharing the letters she sent them from jail.

Knox sent hand-crocheted snowflakes and sweet letters home to her younger sisters in Seattle.

"'She's saying 'fly me home, girls!" said sister Delaney Knox, reading one of the letters. "This one - it's Amanda and then the bird has the key and she's saying, 'wait, I need that key to go home.'

"'I miss you and love you. Be good and gentle to everyone. Spread the love."'

Through the letters Knox tells her sisters she's playing music, studying five languages and missing them.

"Just want her out," said sister Ashley Knox.

"To be here instead of over there," said Delaney.

"Over there" in Perugia, Italy, Amanda is allowed out of her cell for two hours a day. Each week she gets two family visits, each of which is heavy with emotions, according to her parents.

"It's always wonderful to go in. You get to hug her and hold her and talk to her," said mother Edda Mellas. "And leaving her just rips your heart out every time."

"It''s very difficult, obviously, to leave," said father Curt Knox.

Amanda's parents are deeply sad and deeply frustrated. After Kercher was found dead Italian police interrogated Amanda all night with no lawyer, no professional interpreter, no food and no sleep.

"There was a lot of mental abuse," said Curt. "'You're never going to see your parents for another 30 years.' She was actually hit in the head a couple of times."

Amanda finally said she heard her roommate's screams, but the Supreme Court threw out her statement because police methods used to obtain the statement were illegal.

There are also serious questions about so-called evidence, which gives Amanda's family hope that she'll be released.

Amanda's Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and another man, Rudy Guede, are also being held in jail. Guede has a criminal history and his bloody handprint was found on the victim's pillow.

No one has been charged in the case.