Man charged with murder over 2005 homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 08:13:03 PM

A man has been extradited from Western Australia and charged with murder following an investigation into the homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel, on the Far North Coast more than 15 years ago.

Simone, aged 25, was last seen at the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park on Friday 11 February 2005, after a night out with her then-boyfriend and friends.

Her body was found six days later (Thursday 17 February 2005), concealed under palm fronds at a sportsground less than 100m from the caravan park.

At a coronial inquest in 2007, then-State Coroner, Paul McMahon, ruled there was insufficient evidence to lay charges over Simone's death.

Detectives from Richmond Police District established Strike Force Howea in February 2005 to investigate Simone’s murder – with assistance from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, and their counterparts at the Wuerzburg Criminal Police and the Prosecutor´s Office in Wuerzburg.

In October 2020, the NSW Government announced a $1 million reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Simone’s homicide. The Bavarian Office of Criminal Investigation had also announced a 10,000 Euro reward for residents of both Germany and Australia back in 2014.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives travelled to Western Australia, where – with assistance from Western Australian Police Force – a 42-year-old man was arrested at a home in Perth.

He was taken to the Magistrates Court of Western Australia where detectives applied for, and were granted, his extradition to NSW.

Strike force investigators escorted the man on a flight, which landed at Sydney Domestic Airport about 5.10pm today (Wednesday 27 July 2022).

He was taken to Mascot Police Station and charged with murder and do act with intent to pervert the course of justice.

He was refused bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court tomorrow (Thursday 28 July 2022).

Strike Force Howea investigators are continuing to work with their international counterparts, with investigations continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Howea detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.