Forensic tests have reportedly confirmed the deaths of three members of a family were caused by poisonous mushrooms, in the latest development of a case that has gripped Australia.
Don and Gail Patterson along with Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, died after eating a beef wellington at the home of Erin Patterson in Leongatha, Victoria, on July 29.
Police believed the three of them had consumed lethal death cap mushrooms, but this detail has now been confirmed by toxicologists in the latest development.
A homicide investigation into the family’s deaths will continue but Erin Patterson has maintained she is innocent.
She has not been arrested and currently does not face charges.
Erin, the former daughter-in-law of Don and Gail, she made the dish using button mushrooms from a major supermarket and dried mushrooms bought at an Asian grocery store.
She claims she also suffered bad stomach pains and diarrhoea and had to spend time in hospital after eating a portion of the meal.
Her estranged husband Simon was due to attend the gathering but pulled out.
Heather’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, was the sole survivor of the lunch and was released from hospital last week, months after being admitted.
A statement from Ian’s family said the moment marked a milestone of “immese relief and gratitude.”
It continued: “The Wilkinson family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Leongatha, Dandenong and Austin Hospitals for their unwavering dedication and exceptional care that played a pivotal role in Ian’s recovery.
“The medical team’s expertise and compassion have been a source of comfort and hope throughout this journey.
“Additionally, the family is profoundly grateful for the outpouring of support, prayers, and well-wishes from the Korumburra community, church, friends, family, and colleagues.”
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