The toxic dish served by a mother at a family dinner that killed three people was reportedly a Beef Wellington Pie.
Erin Patterson, 48, invited Gail and Don Patterson, her former in-laws, as well as Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, and her husband, Ian, to her home in Leongatha, Australia.
After eating the meal on July 29, the guests became seriously ill and Gail and Don, both 70, and Heather, 66, later died.
The police said her symptoms were due to eating death cap mushrooms.
Ian, a pastor, remains in critical condition in the hospital awaiting a liver transplant.
Homicide investigators confirmed that Erin is a suspect in the case because the mother of two prepared the meal at home but did not get sick.
She denied any wrongdoing and police warned the incident could be “very harmless”.
It has now emerged that the fatal lunch served included a Beef Wellington Pie as the main course. Guardians Australia reports.
Beef Wellington recipes often include mushrooms.
And according to a friend, Erin held the fateful luncheon to try and reconcile with her estranged ex-husband, Simon Patterson.
A source close to Simon claimed Erin was dying to get back to him – and said the lunch was an “intervention” by his family.
The friend said his family was concerned and described the meeting as “mediation”.
Simon was supposed to attend the lunch but reportedly dropped out at the last minute.
The buddy told it Daily Mail Australia: “She wanted to come back with Simon and the family didn’t want Simon to come back with her.”
“It wasn’t just a lunch, it was an intervention with the pastor as mediator. That’s why this lunch came about.”
“Simon was supposed to go there for lunch but he canceled at the last minute or he’d be on his deathbed too.”
“The people who died, Gail, Don and the Wilkinsons, spoke to them because they are deeply rooted in the church and wanted to make sure she was right to start a relationship with Simon again.
“She basically asked to get back together with him and the family didn’t think that was a good move.”
This comes after Simon revealed last year that he nearly died from a mysterious bowel condition.
And he “suspected” that Erin had tried to poison him by “poison ingestion.”
A family friend told it Herald Sun: “Simon suspected that he had been poisoned by Erin.
“There were times when he’d felt… a little uncomfortable, and that often coincided with spending time with her.”
Simon said he collapsed at home in May last year and was put into an induced coma.
In a social media post, Simon wrote, “I collapsed at home and was then in an induced coma for 16 days, having three emergency surgeries, mostly on the small intestine, plus one other scheduled surgery.”
“Twice my family was asked to come and say goodbye to me as I was not expected to survive.
“I was in intensive care for 21 days…”
When officers investigated why the guests became ill, officers confiscated a number of items – including a dehydrator from a dump that is believed to have been used to prepare the mushrooms.
Investigators are still not sure if she ate the meal, but police confirmed her two children were served a different lunch.
It is understood that the police are trying to do soCCTV footage from where the dehydrator was found to see what vehicles were entering the site.
A police source said Age that police officers are conducting forensic tests on the dehydrator in hopes that it might provide important clues to finding out what happened.
Erin cried outside her home Monday while speaking to reporters.
“I didn’t do anything,” she said. “I loved them and am devastated that they are gone.
“Gail was like the mother I didn’t have because my mother died four years ago. Gail has never been anything but good and kind to me.
“Ian and Heather were some of the best people I’ve ever met. They never did anything to me.”
Victoria Police Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said officers were keeping an “open mind” as they investigate the bizarre case.
“We have to be aware that it could be very harmless, but again at this point we just don’t know,” he said.
“We will be working closely with medical experts and toxicologists… in the hope that we can understand exactly what happened and provide some answers to the family,” Thomas added.
“We’re trying to understand who ate what at lunch, whether the person who wasn’t sick ate the mushrooms or not…
“And of course we are trying to find out what actually caused the poisoning of the four people present.”
Accordingly 7NewsErin initially told police that she picked up the mushrooms at a local store in the Leongatha area.
Erin’s neighbor told the Herald Sun that locals don’t hunt for wild mushrooms because they “know the danger.”
There have been previous claims that the poisonous mushroom has been found in shops.
Woolworths was accused in 2014 of accidentally selling the food in a Canberra store after a woman fell ill.
She had to undergo a liver transplant and was in a coma for a week after eating the capsules.
Health officials evacuated Woolworths after an investigation, saying it was more likely the mushrooms had been picked from the ground.