Dead German's companions suspected of murder

12th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 December 2005, SYDNEY - German police investigating the death of a 25-year-old German kindergarten teacher said Monday that her three companions on a camper-van trip around Australia were suspects in the murder investigation.

12 December 2005

SYDNEY - German police investigating the death of a 25-year-old German kindergarten teacher said Monday that her three companions on a camper-van trip around Australia were suspects in the murder investigation.

Simone Strobel's body was found in February in the New South Wales town of Lismore, where she was staying in a caravan park with boyfriend Tobias Suckfuell, his sister Katrin and Katrin's boyfriend Jens Martins.

Strobel, from the Bavarian town of Wuerzburg, disappeared while walking alone at night near the Lismore campsite. Her body was found six days later less than 200 metres from where she was last seen.

German state prosecutor Erik Ohlenschlager, speaking through an interpreter to Australia's AAP news agency in Lismore, said the trio were suspects for several reasons.

"They have been the last persons that had contact with Simone," Ohlenschlager said. "They have been lying from the beginning to the Australian authorities and the German authorities about important facts of the investigation, and they also have, according to what we think, a motive."

He would not say what that motive was.

Before returning to Germany a few weeks after the death of his companion, Suckfuell criticized police for dragging their heels in their investigation.

"The police wasted three days," Suckfuell said. "They kept telling me not to worry, that she would turn up in Nimbin or Byron Bay or on a commune. They said she may be on drugs, but I know my girlfriend. She didn't do things like that, and she didn't do hard drugs."

Strobel's parents visited Lismore in the weeks after her death.

DPA

Subject: German news

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