Simone Strobel and her then boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell.
Simone Strobel and her then boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell.

Murder suspect living in Perth

MURDERED backpacker Simone Strobel's former boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell, is believed to be living in Perth.

Suckfuell's presence in Australia contrasts with his earlier statement that he wouldn't be coming here "any time soon".

A letter to the coroner from the lawyer representing Suckfuell said that he "did not want to attend and assist in these proceedings" - the 2007 inquest into murder of his girlfriend.

The Western Australian sighting of Suckfuell was reported on national television last night, with Lismore police saying it would be investigated.

The Seven Network yesterday showed video footage of Suckfuell allegedly living in a beachside mansion in Perth with a new Australian girlfriend, a 26-year-old ski instructor.

"The investigation into Simone Strobel's murder is still open," Detective Sgt Bernadette Ingram of Lismore police said.

"We will travel wherever the line of inquiry takes us.

"Investigators are keen to bring closure for Simone's family and to identify her killer."

Simone, 25, died in February 2005, after leaving Suckfuell, his sister Katrin and their friend Jens Martin at a Lismore caravan park after an argument with Tobias.

She was reported missing the next day and six days later her decomposed body was found hidden under palm leaves inside the grounds of the nearby Bocce Club.

Although Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon named Suckfuell as the most likely suspect, he was not charged because of lack of evidence.

Suckfuell and Katrin refused to return for the inquest even though the coroner offered to pay their travel costs.

However Jens Martin did return, delivering damning testimony against Suckfuell, suggesting he had lied to police and fought bitterly with Simone on the night of her murder.

Media reports yesterday suggested that new DNA technology may unravel the murder mystery by identifying a crucial piece of evidence, believed to be a hair, found near Strobel.

However, Detective Sgt Ingram yesterday could not comment on the DNA evidence.

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