Australian police on Thursday arrested the host of a luncheon gathering that left three guests dead and one in critical condition, CBS News reports. Police say the symptoms the four diners had suffered were consistent with poisoning by wild death cap mushrooms, which are responsible for 90 percent of lethal mushroom poisoning globally, grow in many wet, warm areas of Australia and are easily mistaken for edible varieties.
Erin Patterson wrote in a statement that she had cooked a Beef Wellington steak dish for lunch using mushrooms bought from a major supermarket chain and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocery store. The victims included Patterson’s ex-husband’s parents, his aunt, and her husband, who was the only survivor who spent nearly two months gravely ill in hospital before being released in September. Patterson has publicly denied any wrongdoing, but homicide detectives say that her arrest is “just the next step in what has been a complex and thorough investigation by Homicide Squad detectives and one that is not yet over.”