Erin Patterson has been charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder after a fatal mushroom lunch served at her home in Leongatha earlier this year.

The 49-year-old was arrested at 8am on Thursday, with police raiding the Gibson St address with assistance from the AFP’s technology detector dogs.

Ms Patterson cooked a beef wellington dish, which is alleged to have contained deadly death cap mushrooms, on July 29, served it to four people at a lunch at her home.

Her former parents-in-law Don and Gail Patterson and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson died from symptoms consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning after the lunch.

Ms Wilkinson’s husband, Ian, survived after spending two months in hospital but is still recovering from severe injuries.

Three of the five attempted murder charges relate to “three separate incidents” in Victoria between 2021 and 2022, according to Victoria Police.

“It’s alleged a 48-year-old Korumburra man became ill following meals on these dates,” a spokesperson said.

It’s understood the 48-year-old man is Ms Patterson’s ex-husband.

Ms Patterson has denied any wrongdoing, and previously said she does not know what caused the trio’s deaths.

In a statement given to police in August, Ms Patterson confirmed mushrooms she used in the dish were a combination of button mushrooms bought at a supermarket chain and dried ones from an Asian grocery store in Melbourne months prior.

“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,” she said.

In the same statement, Ms Patterson said her children had consumed leftovers of the meal but she had scraped the mushrooms off the meal.

After Ms Patterson was taken into custody, officers executed a search warrant at her home including bringing in technology detection dogs.

The dogs were seen combing through cars and her home for evidence as several officers searched the inside of her home.

Homicide squat detective inspector Dean Thomas said that Victoria Police had not experienced the “intense levels of public scrutiny and curiosity” before the mushroom investigation.

“I think it is particularly important that we keep in mind that at the heart of this, three people have lost their lives,” he said.

“These are three people who by all accounts were much beloved in their communities and are greatly missed by their loved ones.”

Mr Thomas described the investigation as “incredibly complex, methodical and thorough”.

“I know people have many questions in relation to this matter and will be hopeful that I can provide them today. However it’s not that simple,” he said.

“While we do want to provide updates in a timely matter, it is critical that doing this does not adversely impact the current investigation or any future processes.

“I encourage people to be particularly mindful of unnecessary speculation and the sharing of misinformation.”

In August, hundreds of mourners farewelled the Pattersons at the Korumburra Recreation Centre.

Simon, the son of Gail and Don and Erin’s ex-husband, revealed the heartbreaking final text his mum sent while she was in hospital.

“It was no fluke that mum’s final text message on our family group chat as she lay in Dandenong hospital was: ‘Lots of love to you all’,” he told a crowd of mourners.

“As Mum and Dad lay in comas in the hospital in their final days and each day … we were unsure if they would recover or not.

“It was comforting to know that when we said: ‘See you later,’ we knew it was true.

“The only thing we didn’t know was when.”

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