German backpacker Simone Strobel was found murdered in Lismore in 2005. Photo Contributed
German backpacker Simone Strobel was found murdered in Lismore in 2005. Photo Contributed

What Simone's parents really think of $1M reward

THE parents of Simone Strobel have told of their surprise over the $1 million reward offered for information about their daughter's murder.

Manfred Schweidler, a journalist at the Würzburg newspaper Main Post, spoke to the parents last week about the newest development in the 15-year-old case.

Mr Schweidler told of how the parents struggled with declining media interest in the story and did not expect this development.

"Gaby and Gustl Strobel told me in a telephone interview on Thursday: They had not expected this energetic new attempt by the investigators. They had recently suffered in silence as the news from investigators and the media stories dwindled the last three years.

"Gustl Strobel, who became a grandfather a few days ago, said: 'It has been quiet for so long and now there is such a surprise'."

Mr Schweidler said the reward had been big news in Würzburg and Simone's hometown of Rieden.

"The Australian investigators had briefed the family by email. In the city of Würzburg with 130,000 inhabitants and Simone's little hometown Rieden (25 kilometres away), the reward - and the new attempt to solve the riddle of Simone's death - was a big topic."

Mr Schweidler said the opinion had been mixed with locals hoping the reward shed some light on the case while others were doubtful it would work.

"Others are more pessimistic: Even a million will not open the mouth of those, who have remained silent for so long out of fear or a guilty conscience."

Simone's parents are hopeful that this new reward will bring an end to the case and provide them with closure.

In an interview with Würzburg newspaper Main Post, Simone's father was pleased that the investigators are still trying to resolve this case after 15 years.

"Hopefully this will bring something now," he said. "So that the uncertainty ends and we can finally find peace."