The Australian capital of Brisbane is where CNN is based.
A suspected death cap mushroom served at a family lunch in late July is the focus of an Australian murder investigation, following the deaths of three guests less than ten days ago.
Erin Patterson provided food to her former parents-in-law and her mother-intel’s sister and husband, who were guests at her residence in Leongatha, southern Victoria, on July 29, as reported by Victoria Police.
Gail Patterson, 70, and her sister Heather Wilkinson, 66, died in the hospital within days, while Gails’ husband, Don, who is 70 years old, passed away a day later.
Ian, the reverend 68, who is Wilkinson’s fourth guest, is still in critical condition in the hospital.
The small town has been left in shock by the news of their deceased loved ones, prompting members of the congregation at the Korumburra Baptist Church to gather and pray for their reverend’s recovery, who is reportedly in need of a liver transplant.
Leongatha and Korumburra have a population of just over 10,000, as per the latest census.
On Monday, Erin Patterson was seen yelling at local media outside her home, denying any wrongdoing.
The 48-year-old expressed her heartbreak and regret, stating that she loved them. She couldn’t believe that this had taken place and was deeply sorry for what had occurred.
Reverend Ian Wilkinson remains hospitalized and critically ill after the death of his wife, Heather.
Patterson was identified as a suspect by Detective Inspector Dean Thomas of the Victoria Police homicide squad during spotting on Monday, as she cooked the meal and was the only adult present at the lunch table who did not fall ill.
Erin Patterson, who had separated from her husband of 42 years, Simon, due to his parents’ death, was reported by him to have a friendly relationship with him.
The former couple’s two children were also present at the lunch, but they had a different meal and seemed unill.
Thomas stressed the importance of remaining open and capable, even if it were completely innocent. He added that there are four individuals who show up, but three of them die immediately, and one critical death.
The deaths have not led to any charges being filed against Patterson.
It is believed that the mushrooms being cultivated are highly toxic and considered extremely poisonous.
According to Thomas, the symptoms experienced by Patterson’s guests are consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning, but the exact nature of their consumption is still uncertain according to toxicology reports.
In April, Victoria Health warned that death cap mushrooms (Amanita phalloides) are “extremely toxic” and listed symptoms such as intense stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The warning warned that even if symptoms improve, serious liver damage may occur that could result in death.
The discovery of death cap mushrooms in Australia during the 1960s was attributed to their native ancestry, and they are typically found near introduced trees, such as oaks, according to Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
The mushrooms that were consumed at the Leongatha lunch are not known for their origin or species. It is unknown what type of toxins these death cap mushrooms contain, as they cannot be eliminated by boiling, cooking, freezing, or drying. Consuming only a small amount of each can result in death.
Patterson chose not to answer the question about the meal she had cooked when questioned by reporters and instead went inside her home, asking for privacy.
Victoria Police’s Detective Inspector Dean Thomas delivers a speech at.
During their search of Patterson’s home on Saturday, the police confiscated several items for forensic examination. According to local media, a dehydrator was discovered at elm street waste, but no specific items were disclosed by the officers.
Thomas stated that the items taken from lunch would be subject to forensic testing, with the aim of providing insight into the events that took place during lunch.
The police are urging people to stay away from wild mushrooms while they investigate what Patterson’s guests were eating.
Thomas urged individuals in the community to consider whether they should consume mushrooms that they discovered on their own property, such as paddocks or farms.
If you haven’t bought them from a store or similar place, “Let’s not buy them.”