Tobias: I'm not coming back
THE main police suspect in the murder of backpacker Simone Strobel has thumbed his nose at Australian authorities and said he won't be coming back here any time soon. Tobias Suckfuell has had his lawyer tell the NSW Coroner he won't return to Australia to answer questions about Simone's death. The Deputy State Coroner, Paul McMahon had written to Tobias and his sister, Katerin as part of his coronial inquest which took place last month in Lismore into Simone's presumed murder. At Glebe Coroners Court yesterday, NSW Police Senior Sergeant Jodie Shepherd said a letter had been received from the lawyer representing Tobias and Katerin Suckfuell, who are now overseas. Tobias is believed to be in South Africa. The letter indicated 'they did not want to attend and assist in these proceedings', she said. During the inquest in Lismore, police told the coroner they believed 25-year-old German tourist, Simone Strobel was murdered by Tobias, at a Lismore caravan park in February, 2005. Police alleged Tobias, who was Simone's boyfriend at the time, murdered the kindergarten teacher by suffocating her with a pillow and that his sister Katerin probably helped him drag the body from the murder scene. Her body was found six days later. Tobias was loudly critical of the local police at the time, accusing them of blundering the search for Simone. Many Lismore people donated money to help him fly back to Germany when he couldn't afford the ticket. Reports recently claim Tobias is living it up in South Africa. The head of the Richmond Local Area Command, Superintendent Bruce Lyons told The Northern Star yesterday he was disappointed Tobias and Katerin would not voluntarily return to give evidence. Superintendent Lyons said he wanted to reassure the police of Lismore his officers continued to be actively investigating Simone's murder and were working closely with German police. When asked if police had plans to try and force Tobias to return to Australia, Superintendent Lyons said the matter was still with the coroner. He said police would look to the coroner's finding for further advice on how to proceed. In his report yesterday, Coroner Paul McMahon said that because the evidence was now complete he would hand down his findings in Lismore on October 16.