Mysterious case of Australian family poisoned after eating mushrooms for lunch


Australian authorities have warned that the species, known as the “death mushroom”, could be confused with edible mushrooms.

Two weeks ago, five adults and two children sat down for a family dinner in a small town in Australia.

A week later, three adults are dead, a fourth is fighting for his life and a fifth is under investigation for possibly poisoning guests with wild mushrooms.

The 48-year-old woman who made the lunch said she had no idea what happened. He loves his family and will not hurt them.

The case has shocked Australians, baffled police and rocked a tight-knit community.

Was it premeditated or accidental?

The unusual story began when Gail and Don Patterson went to lunch with their grandchildren at the home of daughter-in-law Eileen Patterson in Leon Garza, south-east of Melbourne.

The couple arrived accompanied by the Wilkinson family: Gail’s sister Heather and her husband Ian.

The Patersons and Wilkinsons are well-loved members of the nearby town of Columbula, where Ian is the pastor of the local Baptist church.

Hours after the meal, four guests were taken to hospital where they were initially thought to have severe gastroenteritis.

We soon found out that things were getting worse and they were taken to a hospital in Melbourne where they received the best medical care the state of Australia could provide.

Still, Heather, 66, and Gail, 70, died Friday.

Don, 70, died on Saturday, while Ian, 68, remained in hospital in critical condition awaiting a liver transplant.

Police believe all four ate dead mushroomswhose ingestion is highly lethal.

Ian and Heather Wilkinson fell ill after lunch.

Heather and Ian Wilkinson fell ill after lunch.

different lunch

Interestingly, Erin and her two kids are doing just fine.

The children have since been in the care of authorities as a “precautionary measure”, but they have had different lunches, police said.

However, the case is currently unclear.

researchers say They weren’t sure if Eileen was eating the same food as her guests, or even if there were mushrooms on the plate she served.

They also noted that she was separated from the Pattersons’ son’s husband, which they described as an “amicable” split.

However, authorities have not yet ruled out that the poisoning was caused by malice or criminal intent.

“The cause of death is unknown at this time,” Homicide Squad spokesman Dean Thomas said.

“(Eileen) may be innocent, but we just don’t know”He added.

For her part, she assured that she couldn’t understand what was going on.

Irene, speaking to reporters in tears outside her home, refused to answer questions about what meals were served to which guests or where the mushrooms came from.

“I didn’t do anything, I loved them,” he said.

sad community

The people of Leongasa and Columbula were shocked by the case.

“No one would have thought that something like this would happen here,” regional mayor Nathan Hussey told the BBC.

“Who in their right mind would expect to lose someone who contributed and gave so much in this way?” he added. “There is sadness and utter sadness.”

The victims’ families paid tribute to them in a statement, calling them “pillars of faith” within the community.

“Their love, unwavering faith, and selfless service left an indelible mark on our family, Columbula Baptist Church, our local community, and people around the world,” the statement said.

Columbula Baptist Church

Columbula Baptist Church, the village where the victims lived.

However, Erin was also shocked.

“Gail was the mother I didn’t have. My own children lost their grandmother,” she said.

“They were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m so sad they’re gone.”

death mushroom

It’s not the first time Victoria, Australia, has been rocked by mushroom poisoning.

With the popularity of wild game collection, Species known as death fungi are confused with edible mushrooms.

This mushroom lives in cool, humid climates and seems friendlier than many other deadly varieties.

90% of fatal mushroom poisonings worldwide are caused by fungi. A fragment the size of a coin is enough to kill an adult who eats it.

In 2020, a series of poisoning incidents occurred in Victoria state, resulting in eight people being hospitalized. One of them died.

Authorities are again asking people not to eat the wild mushrooms they have collected.

Dean Thomas, from the homicide unit, added: “If you haven’t bought them in the supermarket, please stay away from them.”

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