Washington The 41-year-old American teacher arrested in Bangkok last week as a suspect in the decade-old killing of JonBenet Ramsey is due to arrive in the United States this evening, escorted by U.S. law enforcement officials, according to Thailand's immigration police.
"The tickets for John Mark Karr's departure are ready," Thailand's immigration police chief, Lt. Gen. Suwat Tumrongsiskul, told reporters Saturday. A major Bangkok newspaper reported that Karr was to be repatriated on a Thai Airways flight that is scheduled to land in Los Angeles this evening.
Karr's transfer from a Thai deportation facility - apparently to Boulder, Colo. - comes five days after he became the first person ever arrested in connection with the 1996 strangling of the 6-year-old child-beauty-pageant winner in her Boulder home.
The Boulder sheriff's office declined to discuss Karr's return Saturday. The office previously issued a statement saying that its duties in the case would include prisoner transport. A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency responsible for transporting detainees, said it has a policy of not disclosing such travel.
No charges have been filed against Karr, who told reporters in Thailand that he had been with Ramsey when she died. The Boulder County district attorney said last week that the investigation was at an early stage.