Lismore cold case: Documents seized in police investigation
THE luxury lifestyle in an exclusive beachside Perth suburb of Toby Moran whose murdered girlfriend was found mysteriously buried under palm fronds is under police scrutiny.
Mr Moran was a German backpacker known as Tobias Suckfuell in 2005 when his partner, Simone Strobel's naked body was found at a Lismore caravan park.
NSW detectives are now examining documents related to Ms Strobel's death which were seized earlier this year from Mr Moran's house in Perth.
Mr Moran lives in a wealthy beachfront Perth suburb with his wife, former ski instructor Samantha Moran.
He changed his name from Suckfuell to Moran after their 2012 wedding in Bavaria, Germany near both his family home and that of Ms Strobel's grieving parents.
News.com.au revealed exclusively in January that Mr Moran was living in Perth's moneyed City Beach suburb in a million dollar house owned by his father-in-law, wealthy Perth dentist and property investor John Moran.
The decomposed body of Ms Strobel was found under palm fronds on February 17, 2005, six days after she vanished after a Friday night with Mr Moran and two others at a Lismore hotel.
Her body had been pushed through the fence of a bocce court 90m from the caravan park where the couple had been camping with Mr Moran's sister Kathrin Suckfuell and friend Jens Martin.
A subsequent inquest heard Mr Moran and Ms Strobel had been arguing at their campsite before she vanished.
Mr Moran and Kathrin declined to appear at the inquest.
Jens Martin did and testified that all three had lied to police at Mr Moran's behest about their actions before Ms Strobel disappeared.
NSW Police told the inquest they believed Tobias had killed her by smothering her and that, most likely with Kathrin's help, carried Simone's body across the road and hidden it.
Coroner Paul McMahon ruled there was not enough evidence to lay charges over Simone's death.
Neither Mr Moran nor anyone else has been charged with the murder of the 25-year-old kindergarten teacher.
Ms Strobel's mysterious death became the subject of a book, Have You Seen Simone? written by Virginia Peters.
In 2014, Mr Moran took out an injunction to prevent its publication, and then launched a defamation suit against Ms Peters and Schwarz Publishing.
Last month, he dropped the lawsuit.
However, during the defamation suit's process called discovery, the defence applied for the release of papers called "the 100-page Document".
Mr Moran's application to block the documents was made on the grounds that they were the subject of legal professional privilege and that the documents also noted that media reports and comments made by the Coroner in the Coroner's Court of New South Wales gave rise to assertions that he was involved in or responsible for the murder of Simone Strobel.
Mr Moran denies being involved in Simone Strobel's murder.
Mr Moran has advised that he has now waived his legal professional privilege and provided his notes to the NSW police.
It was some of these documents that were seized by police in February.
"I am concerned that no person has ever been charged with the murder of Simone Strobel and in light of the defamatory imputation conveyed by the defendant's publication and the content of the book … I am concerned that I may be charged by police in New South Wales based upon a case relying on circumstantial evidence," Mr Moran wrote in an affidavit last year.
NSW Police confirmed the investigation into Ms Strobel's murder "remains active and is being conducted by detectives from the Richmond Local Area Command", in Lismore.
In Germany after marking 12 years since their daughter's death, Gustl and Gabi Strobel have expressed their about the unresolved case after a decade plus of "agonising uncertainty".
Toby Moran has always maintained his innocence over Ms Strobel's death.