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Woman who cooked poisonous mushroom lunch suspected of killing three people pleads innocence

Woman who cooked poisonous mushroom lunch suspected of killing three people pleads innocence

Erin Patterson says she is innocent of any wrongdoing following the deaths of her former in-laws

A woman has pleaded her innocence after three people died from a suspected poisoning.

Erin Patterson, from Victoria, Australia, recently held a family lunch at her home.

She had invited former in-laws Gail and Don Patterson, both 70, as well as Mrs Patterson's sister, Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her husband Reverend Ian Wilkinson, 68, to the meal.

However, tragedy struck when several days after the lunch when the four guests all fell ill.

And sadly, Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Patterson both passed away on 4 August, with Mr Patterson dying the following day.

Mr Wilkinson is still in hospital and is said to be in a critical condition while he awaits a liver transplant.

Ms Patterson and her two kids, however, did not fall ill, with the children said to have eaten a different meal.

Heather and Ian Wilkinson fell ill following the gathering.

An investigation has now been launched into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths.

As a result, Ms Patterson was interviewed by police but was later released without charge, though she remains a suspect.

Standing outside her home, the 48-year-old pleaded her innocence, claiming she had nothing to do with the strange deaths.

She said: "The loss to the community and to the families and my own children who have lost their grandmother… I just can't fathom what has happened.

"I'm so sorry that they have lost their lives. I just can't believe it.

"I didn't do anything, I love them and I'm devastated they are gone."

However, she did not answer any questions about the mushrooms, which are believed to have been the cause of the poisoning.

Erin Patterson has pleaded her innocence.

Victoria Police, which is working with a team of medical experts and the health authority to get to the bottom of the case, says the victims experienced symptoms consistent with poisoning from the death cap mushroom.

The particularly potent fungi contains the poison amanitin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

According to the Victoria health department, just one mushroom is enough to kill.

Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said the investigation was in the early stages and no charges had yet been brought.

“We have to keep an open mind,” he said. “It could be very innocent, but again we just don’t know at this point."

Anyone who may any information relation to the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to make a confidential report at

Featured Image Credit: Nine

Topics: Australia, Crime, Erin Patterson