The woman who served a fatal Beef Wellington lunch in Victoria, has been arrested.
In July, Erin Patterson’s ex-in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson, died after symptoms consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning.
Erin Patterson, the woman at the centre of the mushroom poisoned lunch, yelled at media after they requested to ask her a few questions outside her home. Photo / Seven
Heather’s husband, Ian, was released from hospital in September.
The Age reports Patterson has been arrested, and charges have not yet been laid.
Police are understood to be searching her home following the 48-year-old’s arrest.
On July 29, Patterson is alleged to have cooked a beef wellington dish that contained deadly death cap mushrooms before serving it to four people for lunch at her home.
There has been intense media focus on Patterson since news broke of the poisoning. She has denied deliberately feeding the toxic fungi to her guests, claiming she bought them from an Asian grocery store.
“I’m devastated, I loved them,” Patterson said in a video interview in the days after the story broke.
“I can’t believe this has happened and I’m so sorry that they have lost their lives.
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“I just can’t believe it.”
Don Patterson and Gail Patterson, Erin's former parents in law, died after following a suspected mushroom poisoning. Photo / Supplied
Patterson continued to deny any wrongdoing in the police statement and still has no idea how the deadly beef wellington killed her guests.
According to Patterson, the media’s coverage of the incident was wrong and biased, and as a result, she was inadvertently but purposely painted as the perpetrator rather than the innocent party.
How she procured the allegedly toxic mushrooms, how the beef wellington dish was prepared, and what happened to the leftovers are all explained in detail in Patterson’s police statement.
Heather Wilkinson and pastor Ian Wilkinson. Photo / Supplied
At least three months prior to the lunch, according to the statement, she bought a bag of mushrooms from an Asian grocery store in Mount Waverley. She reported the label on the package of mushrooms she purchased was handwritten.
The meal’s dehydrated mushrooms were combined with additional mushrooms that were bought from a store and cooked into the beef wellington dish, The Age reported.
Police found the dehydrator at the local rubish tip, raising alarms.
Patterson acknowledged in the police statement that the food dehydrator they discovered in a waste bin at the Koonwarra Transfer Station was purposely thrown away. She said in the statement that she had panicked and thrown away the device after she claims that she had been falsely accused of poisoning the food.
Erin Patterson, the Australian woman who cooked the mushroom meal that killed three people, says she is being painted as an 'evil witch' by the media.
In the statement, Patterson claims she too fell ill after consuming the meal on July 31, two days after the dinner party. The Age reported she was admitted to the hospital in Leongatha before an ambulance transferred her to a hospital in Melbourne.
The death cap mushroom is responsible for 90 per cent of all deaths related to mushroom consumption.
All parts of the fungus are poisonous and even eating a small amount can be fatal.
More to come.
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