Reward offered for help cracking Simone Strobel case

German backpacker Simone Strobel was found murdered in Lismore in 2005.
German backpacker Simone Strobel was found murdered in Lismore in 2005. Contributed

GERMAN police have offered a 10,000 Euro (AUD$15,252) reward for information that helps crack the Simone Strobel murder case.

The announcement of the reward comes on the ninth anniversary of Simone's disappearance from the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park, where she had been staying with her boyfriend Tobias Suckfuel, his sister Katrin and their friend Jens Martin.

Simone's body was discovered on February 18, 2005 when a handler of a sniffer dog involved in the search noticed birds behaving oddly behind the wire fence of the bocce club, across the road from the caravan park.

Police have long believed Tobias was responsible for Simone's death and that he, possibly with the help of his sister, concealed her body in the grounds of the nearby bocce club.

The 2007 Lismore inquest into Simone's death heard Simone and Tobias had been fighting in the lead-up to her death and that Tobias had been using cannabis heavily and becoming increasingly aggressive.

The inquest was told by Jens Martin he, Katrin and Tobias had lied to police about their activities the night Simone disappeared and about the direction she went when she walked away from their campsite.

Katrin and Tobias both refused to attend the inquest and for nine years have refused to answer questions from Australian or German police. The pair even refused to answer the questions of Simone's father, Gustl Strobel, who in 2010 revealed Katrin had told him she would tell him nothing of his daughter's death "even if you torture me".

This week, Mr Strobl told his local newspaper Main-Post the family remained desperate for answers.

"The answer to that would be extremely important for us," he was reported saying. "Then we could finally say goodbye. Whether and how someone is punished for us is not so important - but we need to know what happened."

The reward is being offered by the Barvarian State Criminal Police Office in the hope of motivating Jens, Katrin, Tobias or someone else with knowledge of the case to speak up.

A spokesman for the Barvarian police told Main-Post all three of the companions knew more than they had revealed "and they must ask themselves why" they lied to police.

It was also hoped the reward might encourage Lismore residents with knowledge of the case to step forward.

"The reward can be paid in Australia," the spokesman said.

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