The ex-husband of the woman at the centre of a deadly mushroom lunch that killed three family members has alleged that she tried to poison him.
Simon Patterson believed his ex-wife Erin Patterson had tried to poison him through an ‘ingested toxin’ from nightshade plants which include potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants, the Herald Sun reports.
His friend told the publication: ‘Simon suspected he had been poisoned by Erin.
‘There were times he had felt… a bit off and it often coincided when he spent time with her.’
Daily Mail Australia doesn’t suggest Erin tried to poison Simon, only that he has made the allegation.
The consumption of nightshade plants containing poisonous alkaloids can be fatal.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Simon, who was invited by Erin to the fateful mushroom lunch but couldn’t make it at the last minute, spent 21 days in intensive care after collapsing at his home in May 2022 from a mystery stomach illness.
It’s understood Erin Patterson initially told police during an interview that she bought the mushrooms from a grocer in the Leongatha area
Simon Patterson was supposed to join his parents for the lunch that killed them
Victoria Police detectives were spotted once again on Wednesday afternoon at the same junkyard near Koonwarra, in Victoria’s Gippsland region, where officers earlier retrieved a food dehydrator
Gail and Don Patterson died after eating the mushrooms. Erin was previously married to their son, Simon
‘I collapsed at home then was in an induced coma for 16 days through which I had three emergency operations mainly on my small intestine, plus an additional planned operation,’ Simon wrote in a Facebook post.
‘My family were asked to come and say goodbye to me twice as I was not expected to live.
‘I was in intensive care for 21 days, after which I was in the general ward for a week, and now I’m at a rehab place.’
The development comes as Erin told investigators she bought the fungi from a local shop and did not forage them, Daily Mail Australia understands.
Erin, 48, invited her former in-laws, Gail and Don Patterson, and Gail’s sister and her husband, Heather and Ian Wilkinson, for lunch at her home in Leongatha, Victoria, on July 29.
Three of them are now dead from suspected mushroom poisoning with Mr Wilkinson fighting for his life in hospital as he awaits a liver transplant.
It’s not clear whether Erin ate the same food as her guests, and her two children had different food to the adults.
It’s understood Erin initially told police during an interview that she bought the mushrooms from a grocer in the Leongatha area, 7News reports.
She has since given police a ‘no comment’ interview during which she refused to say where the mushrooms were from.
Daily Mail Australia understands no mushroom product recalls have been made by local shops.
A letter, written on behalf of the Wilkinson and Patterson families, is on display there at the church
Loved ones have visited the church as their pastor fights for life in hospital
It comes as grieving loved ones have left flowers at the Korumburra Baptist Church, where Mr Wilkinson, who is still fighting for life, is a pastor
Flowers were dropped off at the church where one of the guests at the fatal lunch is a pastor at
Investigators probing the unexplained deaths on Wednesday afternoon swooped on a nearby rubbish tip to retrieve what could be a key piece of evidence.
It is understood police were seeking to review CCTV footage from the rubbish tip, in order to see which vehicles entered the dump site.
Detectives were spotted at the same junkyard near Koonwarra, in Victoria’s Gippsland region, on Tuesday, when officers retrieved a food dehydrator.
The uncommon kitchen implement was believed to have been used in the preparation of the fatal lunch. Daily Mail Australia has been told forensic testing is underway.
Erin has denied any wrongdoing and no charges are expected to be laid at this stage of the investigation, although she remains a person of interest.
Grieving loved ones have left flowers at the Korumburra Baptist Church, where Mr Wilkinson, who is still fighting for life, is a pastor. A letter, written on behalf of the Wilkinson and Patterson families, is on display there.
‘It is with profound sadness we share the news of a tragic event that has deeply affected our families, friends and church community,’ the note read.
‘Our beloved family members were cherished individuals. They were parents, grandparents, siblings, children and pillars of faith within our community.
‘Their love, steadfast faith and selfless service have left an indelible mark on our families, the Korumburra Baptist Church, the local community and indeed people around the globe.’
The above family tree shows the connections between the Pattersons and Wilkinsons embroiled in the unusual poisoning tragedy in Leongatha
A neighbour of Gail and Don Patterson told Daily Mail Australia that Simon had lived with his parents after splitting with his wife, but moved out late last year.
‘Sunday morning we saw the ambulance pull into their driveway and we didn’t know what was happening,’ he said.
‘They’d been very sort of mobile people. They were always out doing their own lawns. They were pretty active. Don used to go for walks every morning.’
The neighbour, who did not wish to be named, described his neighbours as kind people, who did maintain contact with their son’s ex-wife even after the split.
‘He was a pretty good sort of a person who wouldn’t hold those grudges. I don’t know the reason they were there, but probably to see their grandkids,’ he said.
Simon Patterson lived with his parents while recovering from a serious stomach problem
Mushrooms seen on the family home at Leongatha in Victoria’s Gippsland region
News of the tragic deaths has been the talk of the small rural community. with allegations Simon may have suffered a serious stomach injury.
The Patterson’s neighbour told Daily Mail Australia Simon had been living with his parents while recovering from that illness.
‘After his illness, there might have been a separation,’ he said.
‘We don’t know why they split up. They were a very private family.’
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Erin was responsible for Simon’s illness or the three deaths.
She had returned home on Wednesday, but remained holed-up inside behind the safety of a large electric gate.
Homicide detectives searched the property on Saturday as part of their investigation, seizing a number of items.
On Tuesday, Erin was confronted by a media contingent keen for answers.
But the stay-at-home mum provided few, telling reporters to get off her property.
‘What happened is devastating and I’m grieving too and you guys don’t have any respect for that,’ she said.
Erin was forced to navigate around a media scrum to enter her front door.
‘Can I just get to my door, stop standing in front of me,’ she said.
Erin refused to answer what dish she served her guests, who are believed to have ingested poisonous mushrooms.
A black dog rushed out of Erin’s home as she opened the front door, infuriating her further.
‘You don’t have any permission to be on my private property or harass me,’ she said.
‘This kind of behaviour will send someone right off a bridge.’
Asked ‘How she was going’ by a reporter, Ms Patterson stated the obvious.
‘I’m going ****house. Thanks for asking. You guys aren’t helping,’ she responded.
Moments later, Erin was seen loading a suitcase into the boot of her red MG and leaving.
Erin Patterson refused to answer questions about what she had cooked her guests
The property where the deadly lunch occurred at Leongatha, in Victoria’s Gippsland region
The home of Gail and Don Patterson remained empty on Wednesday
Erin Patterson hauls a suitcase into her red MG before driving off
Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured) became severely ill after they ate wild mushrooms. Mrs Wilkinson died on Friday while her husband remains in a critical condition in hospital
MUSHROOM POISONING: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Saturday, July 29
Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a pastor) gather at Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha, north-east of Melbourne, for lunch.
Sunday, July 30
All four lunch guests present to hospital feeling ill. It is initially thought they have gastro.
As their condition deteriorates, they are transferred to hospitals in Melbourne.
Friday, August 4
Gail and Heather die in hospital.
Saturday, August 5
Don dies in hospital. Police search Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha and seize a number of items.
Sunday, August 6
Police are seen returning to Erin’s home to question her. She is heard wailing loudly from inside the house before the four officers leave.
Monday, August 7
Victoria Police Detective Inspector for the Homicide Squad, Dean Thomas, confirms Erin is being treated as a person of interest in the case.
However, he says the investigation is still in its early stages and it is yet to be determined if the deaths are suspicious.
A short time later, Erin breaks her silence and speaks to reporters outside the home. She says she is devastated and ‘loves’ the four relatives who came to her home. She denies any wrongdoing but does not answer questions where the mushrooms came from, who picked them or what meal she made for her guests.
Tuesday, August 8
In a bizarre twist, Simon Patterson was to revealed to have suffered from a mysterious Stomach illness in June, 2022. He fell into a coma and was in ICU for 21 days. His case is yet to be explained by doctors.
Forensic testing is underway to find any traces of death cap mushroom on a food dehydrator that was discovered at a rubbish tip. Police believe it was used during preparation of the meal.
Wednesday, August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals that Simon Patterson was expected to attend the lunch, but pulled out at the last minute