Major update in poison mushroom riddle as victim’s dying words to paramedic in ambulance are passed to homicide cops | The Sun

A PARAMEDIC who had a final conversation with one of the three guests who died after eating a mushroom lunch passed the details on to cops, it is understood.

Erin Patterson, 48, invited Gail and Don Patterson, her former in-laws, and Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson and her husband Ian to her home in Leongatha, Australia.

But after eating the beef wellington she made on July 29, the guests became violently ill.

Gail and Don, both 70, and Heather, 66, later died while Ian has been in hospital fighting for his life.

A source close to the case has now claimed an ambulance worker alerted investigators after a conversation with one of the victims, reports the Herald Sun.

They heard one of the guest's dying words and felt the need to pass on what was said to police, the insider said.

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It has not been revealed what the details of the conversation were.

Cops said the people who died had symptoms of having eaten death cap mushrooms, which grow wild in the lush forests around Leongatha.

Police last week confirmed Erin was being treated as a suspect – but have cautioned that the incident could be "very innocent".

Sources said she held the gathering in a bid to try and win back her estranged ex-husband Simon Patterson.

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In a written statement sent to cops on Friday, Erin – who denies any wrongdoing – gave her first account of what happened before and after the fatal lunch.

She said she served the meal and allowed the guests to choose their own plates – and she also ate a portion of the beef wellington herself.

The mushrooms were a mixture of button mushrooms from a major supermarket chain, and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocery store in Melbourne months before, she added.

She claimed she was hospitalised after the lunch with bad stomach pains and diarrhoea, put on a saline drip and given a "liver protective drug" despite initial reports she did not get sick.

And the mum-of-two admitted lying to cops when she told them she had dumped a food dehydrator at a local tip "a long time ago" – which was later seized by cops.

Erin said she was at the hospital with her kids "discussing the food dehydrator" when her ex-husband asked: "Is that what you used to poison them?"

Worried she might lose custody of the couple's children, Erin said she then panicked and dumped the dehydrator at the tip.

As her guests fell ill, Erin said she was contacted by the Department of Health and asked about the deadly meal.

She said she kept some of the lunch and gave it to toxicologists for examination.

Erin said: "I am now wanting to clear up the record because I have become extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the deaths of my loved ones.

"I am hoping this statement might help in some way.

"I believe if people understood the background more, they would not be so quick to rush to judgement.

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"I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones.

"I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved."

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