$1 million reward on offer to help solve cold case murder of NSW backpacker

The New South Wales Government has announced a $1 million reward for information that could solve the cold case murder of a German backpacker on the Far North Coast.

25-year-old Simone Strobel was last seen at the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park on Friday 11 February 2005, after a night out with her then-boyfriend and friends.

Six days later, her body was found hidden under palm fronds at a sportsground less than 100 metres from the caravan park.


No one has ever been charged over Simone’s death, with a coronial inquest in 2007 ruling there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott is hopeful the $1 million reward would be a substantial incentive for someone to come forward with information about the German school teacher’s death.

“For 15 years, Police have been determined to uncover the truth of what happened to Simone, both the Lismore community and her loved ones in Germany deserve answers,” Mr Elliott said.

“We are committed to providing police with the resources they need to solve cold cases and deliver justice for victims and their families. I would remind the community that any seemingly small piece of information could make a huge difference in this case.”

Richmond Police District Commander, Superintendent Scott Tanner, said police believe there are people here in Australia and overseas in Simone’s home country who are withholding vital information.

“We know the truth is out there, and we know there are people who are holding it back.

“Strike force detectives have worked for more than a decade, trying to piece together Simone’s last movements and who was there in her final moments.

“A million dollars is a significant reward being offered by the NSW Government to help us solve this homicide – the reward is open to any person or resident, including both Australian and German residents.

“We have continued to examine evidence and speak with witnesses over the past 15 years, but we need additional help from the public to finally determine what happened to Simone.

“This is a crime which has stuck with many families who have young relatives travelling the world, the thought of losing them so far away from home is hard to comprehend. Help us to put Simone’s family at ease,” Supt Tanner said.

In 2014, officers from and the Bavarian Office of Criminal Investigation announced a reward of 10,000 Euros for residents of both Germany and Australia who provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction – that reward remains current.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.