The Family of Carol Baskin’s missing husband is seeking information about his disappearance. Don Lewis’ held a press conference today and have been setting up billboards across Tampa, Florida seeking information about his 1997 disappearance. The Lewis family is offering up $100,000 to anybody who can provide accurate information about what happened to Don Lewis 23 years ago. The Tiger King star has denied having anything to do with the disappearance of Lewis, but there are a lot of unconfirmed theories floating around about Baskin having connections to it.
Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries brought Don Lewis’ name back into the spotlight. He was married to Carole Baskin in 1991, though they had been together since the early 1980s. Before his disappearance, Lewis tried to get a restraining order against Baskin and stated on multiple times that he wanted a divorce, though he still lived in the same house as her. He disappeared in 1997 under mysterious circumstances and his body has never been found. Lewis’ youngest daughter, Gale Rathbone, had this to say today at the press conference.
“Our family tragedy has become your tragedy. Our search for truth has become your mission, too. We’re asking that anyone with vital information come forward so that progress can be made on this case.”
Don Lewis’ family stated that they believe Carol Baskin played a part in his disappearance in the popular Netflix series. One of the billboards seeking information about the mystery is even placed right down the street from Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue entrance, which was founded by Lewis. So far, the family claims that they have received some small leads. You can read more about what Gale Rathbone had to say about the case below.
“I still to this day miss my dad. I love my dad. For 23 years, I’ve gone to bed each night knowing that the only chance of seeing him again is in my dreams. I hope that someday we – and you too – will know the truth and know what will happen to him.”
As for Carol Baskin, she believes that the whole thing is meant to drum up publicity. “I believe it is a publicity stunt orchestrated by Jack Smith to bolster his YouTube views,” she says. “But I do hope that all of the attention from Tiger King and the aftermath will result in us finding Don.” In reference to the small leads they have received, a Lewis family spokesperson says a cold case group on Facebook was started to hunt for clues.
The Lewis family has been instructed to look into a septic tank on the Big Cat Rescue property that Carol Baskin was allegedly untruthful about. There’s also the forgery investigations that are ongoing too, which reportedly indicate that Baskin forged Don Lewis’ signature on his will. And if that wasn’t enough, her Tiger King co-star, Jeff Lowe, reportedly received an anonymous letter claiming to know where Lewis’ remains are. He turned the letter over to the authorities. Even after Tiger King, the circus doesn’t end. You can watch the Lewis family press conference in full below, thanks to the Fox 13 Tampa Bay Facebook page.