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'Tiger King' figure Carole Baskin refuses to talk about missing husband, detective says

The documentary series, a hit on Netflix, brought new attention to the disappearance of Tampa millionaire Don Lewis in 1997.
Image: Carole Baskin
Carole Baskin in a still from "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" on Netflix.Netflix
/ Source: Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — A detective in Florida investigating the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s second husband said Thursday that the “Tiger King” star had three times refused requests for interviews, and that the probe was ongoing.

Cpl. Moises Garcia of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa held a news conference to provide an update on the investigation into Don Lewis’ disappearance.

The case was reopened following the March 2020 release of “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” a Netflix documentary series which became a huge hit during the pandemic.

Lewis was a Tampa millionaire who vanished in 1997, leaving Baskin with dozens of big cats at their animal sanctuary. The series launched rumors about how Lewis disappeared, including conjecture that he was buried in a septic tank on the sanctuary’s property or living in Costa Rica.

The detective said he and his investigators had conducted 50 interviews and followed up on 200 leads.