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Karr begins journey back to U.S.

Ramsey murder suspect to arrive Sunday in Los Angeles

Karr's confession is not the end of the JonBenet Ramsey case, authorities caution.





Bangkok (Thailand)
JonBenet Ramsey
John Mark Karr

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- The suspect in the 1996 death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey left his Bangkok jail cell Sunday for a flight back to the United States, where he is to be questioned by investigators.

John Mark Karr said nothing as he walked out of a detention center in Bangkok, surrounded by Thai police officers, at 3 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) Sunday.

He was placed into a white police van for a drive to the Bangkok airport. U.S. officials are to accompany Karr on a Thai Airways commercial flight. He is expected to arrive in Los Angeles at 8:40 p.m. (11:40 p.m. ET).

Karr appeared emotionless as he walked, wearing a red shirt, black tie and dark slacks.

The 41-year-old was taken into custody Wednesday morning in Bangkok, where he had just started a teaching job. A U.S. warrant called for his arrest on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child sexual assault in connection with the Ramsey case.

Karr is the first suspect arrested in the death of the child beauty queen.

No decision has been made on where he will be taken upon arrival in the United States, a spokeswoman for the Boulder, Colorado, district attorney's office said Saturday.

Several options have been discussed, including the possibility Karr may remain in California, Karen Salaz said.

Karr, the father of three boys, was employed as a schoolteacher when he was arrested in April 2001 in Sonoma County, California, on five misdemeanor charges of possessing child pornography.

A bench warrant was issued for his arrest seven months later when he failed to appear in court, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office.

Since Karr's arrest, two English-speaking Thai guards have been monitoring him at all times, Thai officials confirmed to CNN. But they said that the around-the-clock presence was not a suicide watch.

U.S. Homeland Security official Ann Hurst, who has visited Karr at the Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok, described him as being in "good condition" and said he was reading books and watching television, including reports about his case.

Cryptic reference

The investigation on Friday was focusing on Karr's writings, including a 1982 high-school yearbook inscription he made for a friend.

Karr on Thursday said he was involved in Ramsey's death. Her body was found December 26, 1996, in the basement of her family's home in Boulder. However, questions have since been raised about some of his statements.

The yearbook entry ends with Karr writing in capital block letters, "Though, deep in the future, maybe I shall be the conquerer [sic] and live in multiple peace." (Watch details emerge of Karr's background -- 3:30)

A ransom note found in the Ramsey home ended with the word "Victory!" and was signed "S.B.T.C." Authorities want to know whether those letters might stand for "shall be the conquerer" and whether they could have been written by the same person.

John Hargett, who once ran the documents section of the U.S. Secret Service, told CNN the letters represent "a very interesting coincidence." But he said he saw no similarity between the handwriting used in the ransom note and that in the yearbook. (Watch how he analyzes the handwriting -- 2:00 )

Murder scene secrets

Under questioning by U.S. authorities in Bangkok, Karr has provided gruesome details about the condition of Ramsey's body -- information that had been kept secret for nearly a decade, a U.S. law enforcement source told CNN on Friday. (Watch what this revelation means for the investigation -- 2:17)

The details were known only to the medical examiner and investigators looking into Ramsey's slaying, the law enforcement official said. (Read about the crime scene)

Despite his remarks, Karr's ex-wife and family members insist he was not involved in Ramsey's death.

Some observers have speculated that the 41-year-old may have falsely confessed -- either intentionally out of a desire to link himself to such a high-profile case or because he is delusional. (Watch theories surrounding why Karr confessed -- 2:13)

Prison official: No tie to Polly Klaas

Meanwhile, a search of personal effects of Richard Allen Davis yielded no evidence that Karr was in contact with the convicted child killer, said Vernon Crittendon, a spokesman at California's San Quentin prison.

"We now are convinced that we have no evidence that shows that there's any correspondence taking place between Richard Allen Davis and John Karr," Crittendon said.

Davis was convicted in the 1993 killing of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, who lived in Petaluma, California, where Karr also lived with his wife in 2000 and 2001. Karr was fascinated by both the Klaas case and the Ramsey killing, according to Karr's ex-wife Lara. Karr was arrested in Petaluma on charges of possessing child pornography.

Did Karr contact the Ramseys?

In late May, investigators from the Boulder district attorney's office approached Ramsey's parents, John and Patsy, with information that one or more e-mails had been intercepted expressing a desire to meet with them, according to their family attorney Lin Wood.

Authorities said they were tracking an individual but did not mention his name, Wood said. Wood said he believed the e-mailer was Karr.

The Ramseys had told investigators they were willing to meet with the unnamed person, if doing so would assist the investigation -- but the meeting never took place, Wood said. Patsy Ramsey died of ovarian cancer in June.

Karr has said he did contact Patsy Ramsey, The Associated Press reported. (Watch Karr describe contacting the Ramseys -- :44)

The Rocky Mountain News published excerpts on its Web site Friday of what investigators say they believe are e-mails between Karr and Michael Tracey, a journalism professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder. (Read paper's account of toy bear e-mailexternal link)

One read: "JonBenet, my love, my life. I love you and shall forever love you. I pray that you can hear my voice calling out to you from my darkness. ..."

CNN's Narunart Prapanya and Stan Grant in Bangkok and Peter Viles in Boulder contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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