In 1991, Carole Baskin married Don Lewis after finalizing her divorce from Michael Murdock – who she was married to for 11 years. Baskin and Lewis were married for six years until his disappearance in 1997 – which was chronicled in Tiger King. He was declared dead in 2002, but the investigation is ongoing.
For years, Baskin has been answering questions about her husband’s disappearance – with many fans theorizing and insinuating that she had something to do with it. Despite the speculation, Baskin is doubling down on what she believes to be the truth – Don isn’t missing, but is rather alive and well in Costa Rica.
That truth is one she claims came from the Department of Homeland Security. In the second season of Tiger King, Carole shares a letter she received from the DHS with details of the investigation. Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, the investigation hasn’t been closed and the letter hasn’t been confirmed as legitimate.
In 2021, Carole Baskin elaborated on the letter in an interview with This Morning. “They said my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica. And yet all of this drama has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance when Homeland Security has known where he is,” she said.
She explained how she immediately reached out to the FBI upon learning of the letter – in hopes of receiving a copy – because she wanted to ‘know what that says because part of it was redacted.’ The Department of Homeland Security has yet to release a statement or respond to questions from reporters.
“I’ve mentioned it in the more than 60 interviews I’ve done since then, where reporters asked about Don, so I’m surprised everyone in the press is acting like they aren’t aware of it. I was not aware of the [DHS] document saying Don was alive and well in Costa Rica until TK2 aired in November 2021,” she told PEOPLE.
While there’s no way of knowing where Don Lewis is or if he’s even alive, his ex-wife certainly seems to be convinced he’s living out his life in Costa Rica. Of course, it’s not a sentiment shared by the police officers, investigators, and others working on his disappearance, which they describe as being unsolved.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Still Considers Don Lewis Missing
Carole Baskin is a little befuddled over the sudden obsession over findings that came out two years ago – she first spoke of the DHS letter in 2021. In hopes of providing some clarity to the situation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is speaking out and it contradicts what Baskin has been saying.
“We have not received any communication from our federal partners that confirms the location of missing person Mr. Don Lewis. The investigation into [his] disappearance remains a priority for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, as do all missing person cases,” said the HCSO, according to the New York Post.
If the Department of Homeland Security truly found Don Lewis, were aware of his well-being, and knew of his whereabouts, that information would’ve been shared with those working on his missing person’s case. Since police haven’t been notified of any new developments, the validity of the letter is being questioned.
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As of right now, Don Lewis is still considered to be dead – as of 2002 – but investigators haven’t given up on finding him and that won’t change until we know for certain what happened. Until then, Carole Baskin will be doubling down on her theory. Hopefully we’re provided with more clarity very soon.
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