clearn.png
Thursday December 2nd, 2021 8:27PM

Detective: 'Tiger King' star won't talk about missing spouse

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — 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.

When asked about the Costa Rica rumor, Garcia refused to comment, but he said federal agents had run down leads in the Central American country. Getting a search warrant for the animal sanctuary to follow up on the septic tank rumor would require probable cause, either evidence showing something happened on the property or a witness who could testify to that effect, he said.

Besides Baskin, a former handyman at the sanctuary, Kenny Farr, also “didn't interview with us," the detective said.

It's unusual for a spouse or relative to refuse to cooperate when a family member goes missing, and Baskin is a person of interest, though others are too, Garcia said.

Baskin said Thursday in an email to The Associated Press that she has referred Garcia to her attorney. She pointed out she did everything she possibly could to assist detectives after Lewis' disappearance, including interviews, continued correspondence and unfettered access to the Big Cat Rescue property.

“There is nothing that I know that is not either in the Sheriff’s files or in the diary I have published at SaveTheCats.org,” Baskin said. “And no way I am going to have a clearer memory, or anything to add, twenty-four years later.”

In response to a question on Reddit this week, Baskin wrote that she believed that Lewis took off in a small experimental airplane that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

“He wasn’t licensed to fly, yet did all the time. He couldn’t file a flight plan and had to take off from closed airports to evade detection," Baskin said. “I think this was the most likely scenario."

Baskin recently sued Netflix and a production company to try to prevent the use of interviews and footage involving her in the “Tiger King" sequel, which was released Wednesday. Netflix countered that Baskin and her husband agreed in writing that the material could be used in the future and that she is trying to block the company’s First Amendment right to free speech.

Garcia said he is confident Lewis' disappearance will be solved.

“If you ask a homicide detective if he can solve a case, and he says no, you should take away his badge," he said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Detective: 'Tiger King' star won't talk about missing spouse
A detective in Florida investigating the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s second husband says that the “Tiger King” star has three times refused requests for interviews
12:28PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Arbery's shooter admits he was not under any threat
The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery has testified that the 25-year-old Black man did not speak, show a weapon or threaten him in any way before he raised his shotgun and pointed it at him
12:28PM ( 14 minutes ago )
With supply short, Ford dips toe into computer chip business
Ford Motor Co. is in talks with a computer chip maker GlobalFoundaries Inc. to shore up its semiconductor supplies as it tries to avoid factory shutdowns in the future
12:05PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
New laws steer some teachers away from race-related topics
New measures that restrict how race is addressed in classrooms have spread confusion and anxiety among many educators
11:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
Police in Memphis hunt for suspects in Young Dolph's killing
Police are scouring the city of Memphis, Tennessee, as they search for suspects in the killing of influential rapper Young Dolph at a popular local cookie shop
11:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
Independent websites team up to boost rural journalism
Several independent websites are joining forces to create a network for news about rural America, hoping to fill a void in areas hit hard by the shrinking media industry of the past two decades
11:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
Hate speech trial opens for French far-right pundit
A far-right TV pundit who is expected to run for the French presidency is going on trial for allegedly inciting racial hatred with his comments on unaccompanied migrant children
8:39AM ( 1 day ago )
Hate speech trial of likely French far-right candidate opens
A far-right TV pundit who is expected to run for the French presidency is going on trial for allegedly inciting racial hatred with his comments on unaccompanied migrant children
5:12AM ( 1 day ago )
86-year-old woman named Israel's 'Miss Holocaust Survivor'
An 86-year-old woman who survived mass roundups and massacres of Jews as a child in Romania has been crowned Israel’s “Miss Holocaust Survivor.”
3:54PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online TV News
EXPLAINER: Doubts raised as execution nears for Julius Jones
The fate of Julius Jones rests with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt
9:35PM ( 15 hours ago )
Lawsuit: Baldwin had no reason to fire in 'Rust' shooting
A new lawsuit alleges that Alec Baldwin recklessly fired a gun when it wasn’t called for in the script when he shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the film “Rust.”
8:24PM ( 16 hours ago )
For Will Smith, a break point leads to 'King Richard'
Will Smith wouldn’t seem an obvious candidate for a mid-life crisis
11:12PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Arbery's shooter admits he was not under any threat
The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery has testified that the 25-year-old Black man did not speak, show a weapon or threaten him in any way before he raised his shotgun and pointed it at him
12:28PM ( 14 minutes ago )
With supply short, Ford dips toe into computer chip business
Ford Motor Co. is in talks with a computer chip maker GlobalFoundaries Inc. to shore up its semiconductor supplies as it tries to avoid factory shutdowns in the future
12:05PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Governor condemns tweet offering a 'bounty' on teachers
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has denounced a conservative group’s offer to pay $500 to the first person who “catches” a public school teacher violating New Hampshire’s new limits on the discussion of systemic racism and other topics
12:03PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Emergency request filed as execution looms for Julius Jones
Attorneys for Julius Jones have filed a last-minute emergency request seeking a temporary stop to his execution scheduled for Thursday afternoon
12:02PM ( 39 minutes ago )
ACM Awards get NFL stadium upgrade in 2022 on Amazon Prime
The Academy of Country Music awards show is getting a NFL-sized upgrade next year, moving to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
12:00PM ( 41 minutes ago )