Police have arrested Erin Patterson, the woman at the center of the investigation into the toxic mushroom flour that led to the deaths of three people in Gippsland, eastern Victoria.
She was arrested on Thursday morning and taken to Wonthaggi police station for questioning. It is understood no charges have been filed at this time.
A team of police investigators is currently searching her home in Leongatha, where the fatal family dinner took place on July 29.
Police have arrested Erin Patterson, the woman at the center of the investigation into the toxic mushroom flour that led to the deaths of three people in Gippsland, eastern Victoria
Erin Patterson was arrested on Thursday morning and taken to Wonthaggi Police Station for questioning. It is understood no charges have been filed at this time
Heather Wilkinson, 66, her sister Gail Patterson and brother-in-law Don Patterson, both 70, all died after eating a piece of beef Wellington had served for dinner.
Heather’s husband, Baptist minister Ian Wilkinson, 68, was the sole survivor but fell seriously ill and spent almost two months in hospital.
He is said to have helped police with the investigation in the weeks before Ms Patterson’s arrest after he was allowed to return home on September 22.
Police believe the symptoms experienced by the four guests were consistent with the effects of eating death cap mushrooms.
Ms Patterson – the estranged daughter-in-law of Gail and Don Patterson – was the focus of the police investigation after it was revealed she had cooked the meal.
She has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
On Thursday morning, Victoria Police confirmed they had made an arrest in the case.
Heather Wilkinson (left) died after the fatal family dinner in Leongatha on July 29. Her husband Ian Wilkinson (right) was the only survivor
Erin Patterson’s estranged in-laws, Don and Gail Patterson, both died after the fatal family dinner
“Homicide detectives have arrested a woman this morning as part of their investigation into the deaths of three people following an incident in Leongatha earlier this year,” a statement said.
“On July 40, four people were admitted to hospital after falling ill following a meal at a private residence in Leongatha the previous day.
“Two women from Korumburra, aged 66 and 70, died in hospital on August 4. A third person, a 70-year-old man from Korumburra, died in hospital on August 5.”
“A 69-year-old man from Korumburra was discharged from hospital on September 23rd.
“A 49-year-old woman from Leongatha was arrested at her home address shortly after 8am on November 2nd.
“A search warrant was executed at the Gibson Street address with the assistance of AFP’s technology sleuths.”
“The woman is now being questioned by police and investigations are ongoing.”
There’s more to come