SIMONE Strobel’s boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell, remains the key suspect in her murder and at last report was still living in exile in the remote South African resort town of Wilderness.
He has repeatedly refused to return to Australia to answer questions about the murder.
Suckfuell returned to Germany in February 2005 with Simone’s body – his ticket funded by the local community after hearing of his financial plight.
Four months later he fled to South Africa where he ran a surf school.
According to media reports, he lost his job and was questioned by the South African police for dealing cannabis.
When he failed to attend the inquest, many Lismore residents felt betrayed by the young traveller.
Cr Jenny Dowell, who has a daughter the same age as Simone, helped to organise the fundraiser and described it as the natural reaction of a community desperately wanted to help.
“The community had an absolute outpouring of grief for the distraught partner,” she said.
“We weren’t to know at the time.”