Still now sign of missing backpacker
By ZOE SATHERLEY
THEIR GRIEF over missing German tourist Simone Strobel echoes across the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park in Dawson Street.
It has been five days since Simone, 25, disappeared without trace off the streets of Lismore and her boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell, 24, his sister, Katrin Suckfuell, 28, and friend Jens Martins, 25, are so brokenhearted they are all at the point of collapse.
That she has been kidnapped, raped or murdered are their greatest fears.
The travelling companions werespending a few days touring the Northern Rivers before Katrin and Jens were to return to Germany, and Simone and Tobias continued their 12month working holiday.
However, their lives have been thrown into chaos since Simone left the caravan park to take a short, barefoot walk just before midnight last Friday and never came back.
She took no money or identification with her and knew no-one in the area.
"You can hear her friends weeping across the caravan park, and everyone here feels tremendous sympathy and compassion for them," said van park resident Grace Christi-Batschowanow.
Acting crime manager Det Insp Anne Langford, who is overseeing the investigation headed by Det Sgt Andrew Campbell, said police had put every available officer and detective on the case.
"We are following up every single lead and undertaking concurrent investigations in Lismore, Byron Bay and Nimbin," she said.
"The Sydney homicide squad and missing persons unit are also now involved.
With each passing day the mystery of what happened deepens, and the fears of Simone's family and friends mount.
"Those young people (Simone's partner and friends) are in a tiny van in the blazing sun and don't seem to be eating or sleeping," Grace Christi-Batschowanow said.
"I wish the community could support them in some way other than having doc- tors prescribe Valium."
n Simone is described as attractive, slim, tanned, 170cm, shoulder-length wavy brown hair, wearing a close fitting black V-necked sleeveless top and long white flared pants over which she wore a below-the-knee 'Roxy' brand straight red skirt with a flower pattern cut out from the left-hand side showing the white underskirt through the flower.
Anyone with information should contact Lismore police on 6623 1599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.