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Man charged over 2005 homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel

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Police investigations into the 2005 homicide of German backpacker Simone Strobel have led to the extradition of a man from Western Australia who has been charged with her murder.

More than fifteen years ago Simone’s body was found concealed under palm fronds at a sports ground on the Far North Coast on 17 February 2005.

She had last been seen at the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park after a night out with her then-boyfriend and friends, six days prior to police discovering her body.

Joint task force Howea was established in 2005 by Detectives from the Richmond Police district with the assistance of State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and the Prosecutor’s Office in Wuerzburg, Germany, to investigate the 25-year-old backpackers’ death.

In 2007 it was ruled by then-State Coroner Paul McMahon that there was insufficient evidence to lay charges over her death.

As part of ongoing investigations, in 2014 the Bavarian Office of Criminal Investigation announced a 10,000 Euro reward for residents with information from Germany or Australia, and in 2020 a $1 million reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction was posted by the NSW government.

A recent police report has confirmed that following ongoing and extensive inquiries into the backpacker’s death, a 42-year-old man was arrested at a Perth residence.

Following the granting of an order by the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, the man was extradited to New South Wales on Wednesday 27 July 2022 and taken to Mascot Police Station.

He was subsequently charged with murder and acting with intent to pervert the course of justice.

The 42-year-old was refused bail.

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