Three “well-respected” members of a rural community who died after consuming mushrooms at a dinner party have sparked a murder probe in Australia.
Southeast Victoria’s Gippsland region was scoured by detectives from the state’s Homicide Squad, who also interrogated a local lady, 48.
Police are looking for evidence that the poisoning was intentional or that potentially harmful wild mushrooms were accidentally cooked during the dinner preparation.
The Victorian government has issued a warning to people about harvesting “death cap” mushroom species since doing so can result in serious liver damage, nausea, vomiting, and even death.
After two women—sisters, ages 66 and 70—died in a hospital late last week, suspicions were at first raised. One of the women’s husbands, a 70-year-old guy, passed away on Saturday night.
Another man, 68 years old, is still in the hospital and is in a critical state.
The group had shared a meal at a home in the rural community of Leongatha the previous weekend, and they afterwards called doctors out of concern that they might have gastroenteritis.
The men and women were “very well-respected,” according to South Gippsland Shire Mayor Nathan Hersey, and they had ties to the neighborhood Baptist church.
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The council is aware of the poisoning and has contacted the family, but as of right now, they have indicated that they are supported, cared for, and have requested privacy, according to Mr. Hersey.
The investigation into the precise circumstances of the occurrence is still ongoing, and police are in contact with the Department of Health about it, according to Victoria Police Leading Senior-Constable Kendra Jackson.
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