A MUM who allegedly served a poisonous mushroom lunch that left three dead has reportedly gone into hiding.
Erin Patterson, 48, invited Gail and Don Patterson, her former in-laws, and Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson and her husband Ian to her home in Leongatha, Australia.
After eating the meal – believed to be a beef wellington pie – on July 29, the guests became violently ill and Gail and Don, both 70, and Heather, 66, later died.
Cops said their symptoms were consistent with having eaten death cap mushrooms.
Ian, a pastor, remains in hospital in a critical condition, awaiting a liver transplant.
Homicide detectives confirmed Erin is a suspect in the case as the mum-of-two cooked the meal at her home but did not get sick.
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Now lawyers acting for Erin have been forced to camp outside her home to hand deliver legal instructions after she went missing on Thursday.
She had told reporters just before 10am she was leaving to speak to lawyers in Melbourne, Daily Mail Australia reports.
But a representative of the law firm arrived at her property at 5pm to hand deliver a letter, Daily Mail Australia reports.
The man said it was the only way Erin could be reached after cops confiscated her phone and computer – raising questions about her whereabouts.
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It's understood Erin did not return to her home on Thursday night.
Erin has denied any wrongdoing and cops have cautioned that the incident could be "very innocent".
But officers seized a number of items – including a food dehydrator from a tip, believed to have been used to prepare the mushrooms.
Investigators are still unsure whether she also ate the meal – but cops confirmed a different lunch was served to her two children.
It's understood cops are seeking to review CCTV footage from the tip where the food dehydrator was found to see which vehicles entered the site.
A police source told The Age that cops are conducting forensic tests on the dehydrator in the hope it could hold key clues to finding out what happened.
According to a pal, Erin held the lunch in a bid to try and reconcile with her estranged ex-husband Simon Patterson.
A source close to Simon claimed Erin was desperate to get back with him – and suggested the lunch was an "intervention" from his family.
The friend said his family were concerned and described the get-together as a "mediation".
Simon was supposed to join the lunch – but reportedly pulled out at the last minute.
The pal told Daily Mail Australia: "She wanted to get back with Simon and the family didn't want Simon to get back with her.
"This wasn't just a lunch, it was an intervention with the pastor as mediator. That's why this lunch happened.
"Simon was supposed to go there for lunch but he pulled out in the last minute otherwise he would be in that death bed too.
"The people who died, Gail, Don and the Wilkinsons, were talking to them because they're heavily ingrained with the church and they wanted to make sure she was right to resume a relationship with Simon.
"She was basically petitioning to get back with him and the family didn't think that was a good move."
It comes after Simon revealed he almost died from a mystery gut illness last year.
And he reportedly "suspected” Erin had tried to poison him through an "ingested toxin".
A family friend told the Herald Sun: “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."
Erin wept outside her home on Monday as she spoke to reporters.
"I didn’t do anything," she said. "I loved them and I’m devastated they are gone.
"Gail was like the mum I didn’t have because my mum passed away four years ago, Gail had never been anything but good and kind to me.
"Ian and Heather were some of the best people I’d ever met. They never did anything wrong to me.
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"I’m so devastated about what’s happened and the loss to the community and to the families and to my own children."
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