Police Test Dehydrator Found At Local Tip As Part Of Suspected Mushroom Poisoning Investigation

death cap mushrooms are the suspects in this potential mushroom poisoning case in victoria

Victoria Police have attended a South Gippsland tip for a second time as they continue their investigation into a suspected case of mushroom poisoning that has left three people dead and a fourth fighting for his life.

According to the ABC, police officers spoke to staff at the Koonwarra transfer station earlier today.

Police previously removed a dehydrator found at the tip on Friday, per ABC.

Gail and Don Patterson, who were both 70, as well as Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson, who was 66, died after eating a lunch which is suspected of being comprised of toxic wild mushrooms. Heather’s husband Ian, 68, also ate the lunch and remains in critical condition.

The family all suffered symptoms consistent with the eating death cap mushrooms: gastro-like illness, nausea, and stomach pain. Ian also suffered liver damage which is another symptom.

The lunch was prepared by Erin Patterson, the daughter-in-law of Gail and Don, who along with her children remained unharmed. Erin’s estranged husband and the Patterson’s son Simon was apparently meant to be at the lunch in Leongatha, 9 News reports, but cancelled at the last minute due to illness.

Homicide police are investigating the suspected mushroom poisoning, though have acknowledged the possibility that the whole thing was a tragic accident.

Homicide squad Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said that despite the homicide investigation, police have not ruled out an accidental poisoning or “nefarious activity”. So basically, all options are being explored.

He also noted that so far it’s unclear whether Erin, who was the only adult not to get sick, even ate the lunch, or if it was even the lunch that had the mushrooms in it.

The Age also reported that Simon Patterson had a near-death experience last year after serious gut problems landed him in hospital for three weeks.

PEDESTRIAN.TV is not suggesting that Erin Patterson is guilty of any crime, only that the matter is being investigated.

Erin, who police named a suspect, tearfully told A Current Affair she was innocent and hadn’t tried to hurt anyone.

She insisted she had a good relationship with her in-laws and is devastated by their deaths.

Image: Getty Images / DeAgostini.