How sole survivor of mushroom lunch Ian Wilkinson could hold the key to the ... trends now
Testimony from the sole survivor of the deadly mushroom lunch that killed three people could have proved crucial to the police investigation of suspect Erin Patterson.
Ms Patterson, 49, was arrested at 8am on Thursday and taken to Wonthaggi police station for questioning. No charges have been laid.
It marks a significant development in the investigation which has gripped the world since three lunch guests died after eating a toxic beef wellington cooked by the stay-at-home mum in Leongatha, in Victoria's east on July 29.
Heather Wilkinson, 66, her sister Gail Patterson and brother-in-law Don Patterson, both 70, all died within days of the lunch.
Their symptoms were consistent with having eaten death cap mushrooms.
But Heather's husband, Baptist church pastor Ian Wilkinson, 68, narrowly avoided the same fate - and the entire investigation could hinge on what he knows.
Pastor Ian Wilkinson (pictured, right), 68, narrowly avoided death after eating a poisonous beef wellington dish cooked by stay-at-home mum Erin Patterson in Leongatha, in Victoria's east, on July 29. His testimony could prove crucial to the police investigation as the sole survivor of the murky meal
Police have arrested Erin Patterson, the woman at the centre of the investigation into the poisonous mushroom meal that led to the death of three people in Gippsland, eastern Victoria
He spent almost two months critically ill in hospital before being released on Friday September 22.
At the time, his family said he had made 'significant progress in his recovery'.
'This milestone marks a moment of immense relief and gratitude for Ian and the entire Wilkinson family,' they said in a statement.
It was a similarly important milestone for the police investigation into the lunch.
If Mr Wilkinson was well enough to return home, he would be well enough to answer questions from detectives about his niece-through-marriage's role in the deadly aftermath.
Whatever light he could shed on the murky meal would be central to the investigation.
The pastor, a volunteer lawnmower, may well have told police how and why the lunch came about in the first place.
Various theories have been put forward, including that it was an attempted reconciliation between Ms Patterson and her estranged husband, Simon who ended up pulling out at the last minute.
Simon, another potential key witness, could perhaps shed light on the mystery gastric illness he suffered last year that almost led to him dying.
Ian Wilkinson is seen arriving at the memorial service of his wife Heather a month ago, shortly after his release from hospital
The couple share two children. Early media reports suggested they had been in attendance at the lunch but Ms Patterson later claimed they went to the cinema.
She said that they ate the meal two days later with the mushroom scraped off and they suffered no ill-effects.
Ms Patterson claimed she fell ill after eating leftovers on July 31 and had to be hospitalised.
Mr Patterson may be able to reveal why his nephew Simon pulled out at the last-minute.
A police team of investigators are currently searching her home in