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Florida Sheriff Looks into Disappearance of Carole Baskin’s Husband


The popular Netflix docuseries “Tiger King” is rekindling the attention of Florida law enforcement in the decades-old disappearance of Don Lewis, Carol Baskin’s second husband.

Sheriff Chad Chronister is asking the public for “new leads” on the case of Don Lewis via Twitter. Lewis was married to Carole Baskin, who’s featured in Tiger King, and has been missing since 1997. The series has been one of the most talked about shows as of late.

Joe Exotic (né Schreibvogel) has a nemesis or the story’s true hero—is Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. Baskin is the embodiment of what he refers to as “the animal rights people,” an activist who singles him out for persecution, and her crusade to put him out of business drives him to even more extreme measures.

Carole Baskin is Joe Exotic’s rival that ultimately landed him 22 years in jail because, well, he was convicted of trying to hire someone to kill her. But the Netflix docuseries also sheds lights on Baskin’s own story involving her husband’s questionable disappearance in 1997.

Lewis, 59, who ran an animal sanctuary in Citrus Park called Wildlife on Easy Street, vanished in August. He left home one morning and never came back. A few days later, his van was discovered at a private airstrip in Pasco County.

Shortly after his disappearance in 1997, one witness reportedly saw Lewis slip into one of his apartments in Costa Rica in the middle of the night, according to Lewis’ family. The real estate tycoon owns 200 acres and several apartments there.

He also began transferring ownership of property in Hillsborough County to a South American company, Witco Corporacion, that he controls in San Jose, records show.

Many people think the Big Cat Rescue owner is responsible for her former husband’s death.

Detectives asked Carole to take a polygraph test, but on the advice of attorney Ron Cacciatore, she declined.

Two months before Lewis, then 60, disappeared, he filed a domestic violence injunction against his wife. He told a Hillsborough Circuit judge that she threatened to kill him, but the judge did not take the threat seriously and dismissed it.

Carole Lewis says she never seriously fought with her husband, even though they did argue. Don Lewis was not serious about divorcing her, as he told his daughters, Carole Lewis said.

So did Don Lewis run off or was he bumped off. Listen to Karen Curtis’ Full Rigor Podcast dropping on Monday for the latest on the disappearance of Don Lewis and his possible murder.