Three people dead after eating mushrooms at a dinner party



A murder investigation is underway in Australia after three “well-respected” people from a rural community died after eating mushrooms at a dinner party.

Detectives from the state’s Homicide Squad have searched a home in the Gippsland region, in southeast Victoria, and questioned a 48-year-old local woman.

Police have been looking for signs the poisoning was deliberate or whether the person who prepared the meal inadvertently cooked dangerous wild mushrooms.

The Victorian government recently warned residents about picking ‘death cap’ mushroom varieties which, if ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting and serious liver damage, and possible death.

Suspicions were initially raised late last week after two women, sisters aged 66 and 70, died in hospital. The husband of one of the women, a man aged 70, died on Saturday night.

Another man, aged 68, remains in hospital in a critical condition.

The group had dined together at a house in the small town of Leongatha last weekend and afterwards contacted doctors, concerned they had gastroenteritis.

South Gippsland Shire mayor Nathan Hersey told The Age newspaper the men and women were “very well-respected” and connected to the local Baptist church.

“The council is aware [of the poisoning] and has reached out to the family, but at this stage, they’ve said they’re well-supported, being well-cared for and have asked for privacy,” Mr Hersey said.

Victoria Police Leading Senior-Constable Kendra Jackson said: “The investigation surrounding the exact circumstances of the incident remains ongoing and police are liaising with the Department of Health in relation to the matter”.

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