The investigation into the death of German backpacker Simone Strobel at Lismore in 2005 is ‘still active’ according to police with documents authored by her boyfriend and his new wife under scrutiny.
In 2009 and 2010, Tobias Moran (formerly Suckfuell) and his wife Samantha, who now live in Perth, authored what they called ‘the 100 page document’.
Formerly part of a civil claim for defamation launched by Moran against Schwartz Publishing and author of the book Have You Seen Simone?, Virginia Peters, the documents became accessible to police when the case was dropped last month.
On Wednesday, Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Lindsay told Newscorp a local officer flew to Perth this week and brought back ‘a quantity’ of the files.
Six days after she was reported missing, Ms Strobel’s body was found covered in palm fronds opposite the Lismore Tourist Park.
A 2010 inquest into Ms Strobel’s death found she most likely died due to asphyxiation caused by having a pillow pushed against her face.
Mr Moran, who has been a suspect since the incident but has consistently denied any involvement, didn’t return to Australia from the UK for the inquest.
During the defamation proceedings last year, Mr Moran filed an affidavit about the documents in the Western Australian Supreme Court.
On the affidavit he wrote the documents ‘discussed the circumstances of the death of Simone Strobel and in particular, media reports and comments made by the Coroner in the Coroner’s Court of New South Wales giving rise to assertions that I was involved in or responsible for the murder of Simone Strobel’.
‘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, especially the second defendant’s comments as to her role, I am concerned that I may be charged by police in New South Wales based upon a case relying on circumstantial evidence.’
‘In that regard, I desire to preserve my rights and I claim privilege against self incrimination over the ‘100 page’ documents.’
Detective Chief Inspector Lindsay said Ms Strobel’s murder was ‘still an active investigation.’
‘While it happened quite some time ago, we’re still working on it,’ he said.
‘We haven’t given up, and we won’t.’