Is Carole Baskin’s husband still alive? What we know

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The fate of Tiger king Star Carole Baskin’s former husband is being discussed online following the re-emergence of a report suggesting he was found alive in Costa Rica.

During a recently surfaced interview from 2021 on British television, Baskin said so Tiger King 2 “produced” a letter from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claiming that Don Lewis had been found “alive and well” abroad as of 2002. Lewis went missing in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002. He would be 84 years old if he were still alive.

“They said my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica,” Baskin said during the interview on ITV’s. This morning. “And yet there’s been all the news that I had something to do with his disappearance, while Homeland Security has known where he is, at least ever since.”

Some fans of the Netflix documentary series have accused Baskin of killing Lewis, with a number of theories tying her to the disappearance following the show’s 2020 debut. The currently imprisoned “Tiger King” himself, Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado , has made similar accusations. There’s no evidence that Baskin was involved.

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“Tiger King” star Carole Baskin is pictured at the theatrical premiere of “The Conservation Game” in Santa Monica, California, on Aug. 28, 2021. An interview in which Baskin claims her missing ex-husband Don Lewis is “alive and well in Costa Rica” came back on Wednesday.
Araya Doheny/Getty Images for NightFly Entertainment, Ltd./Getty Images

The claim that Lewis might still be alive sparked an online frenzy on Wednesday following the publication of a Cosmopolitan article about her This morning interview.

Baskin’s interview largely flew under the radar at the time it aired, though it was covered in an E! from November 2021! News article pointing out her comments may have been in response to a document shown as part of Tiger King 2 and identified as being from DHS. Baskin was not involved in making the sequel series.

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A 2021 statement on Baskin’s website regarding Tiger King 2 supposedly contains an image of the letter in question. The document, marked for “official use only” and “law enforcement sensitive,” says a detective from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was informed that Lewis was “currently alive and well in Costa Rica.”

The letter also claims that Lewis has “loaned money to various individuals in Costa Rica and could live quite well off the interest earned on those loans,” allowing him to “remain in Costa Rica indefinitely.”

While no date is visible on the letter, Baskin claimed that because the letter was marked as coming from DHS, Lewis must have lived in 2002 or later, as the department was founded in November 2002.

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“For anyone who still wants to believe that Carole killed Don, please explain to us why you think armchair detectives … are better informed than the FBI Special Agent in this Homeland Security Document, which states that Don Lewis is currently alive. in Costa Rica,” reads the statement on Baskin’s website.

Apart from the alleged letter, there does not appear to be any evidence to support the claim that Lewis is alive. News week had not independently verified the authenticity of the letter at the time of publication.

In November 2021, Corporal Moises Garcia of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said that Baskin had repeatedly refused to cooperate with a reopened investigation into Lewis’s disappearance.

John Philips, attorney for Maldonado, responded to the renewed claim in a pronunciation shared on Twitter on Wednesday.

“While filming Tiger king“Detailed efforts have been made to find Don Lewis,” Philips said. ‘They failed. He’s not alive. Carole Baskin’s 2021 report was another unsupported claim. It is republished as if it were truthful.”

News week has contacted DHS and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

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