Has Carole Baskin’s husband been found alive? What happened to Don Lewis, where was he and Joe Exotic response

In a 2021 interview with ITV’s This Morning Baskin claimed that Lewis is reportedly ‘alive and well’

Rumours have been circulating on social media that Carole Baskin’s husband Don Lewis has been found alive in Costa Rica.

Baskin was famously accused of murdering her husband by Joe Exotic during the first season of Netflix’s hit documentary series Tiger King. She has always protested her innocence and denied any involvement in Lewis’ disappearance.

An interview with the animal rights activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue on This Morning in 2021 has resurfaced online, in which she shares that Lewis is reportedly “alive and well in Costa Rica”.

So has Carole Baskin’s husband been found, or is he still missing? Here’s everything you need to know.

Has Carol Baskin’s husband been found?

Despite rumours that Lewis has been found circulating on social media, Baskin’s first husband is still considered missing.

Carole Baskin and Don Lewis (Photo: Netflix)

News that Lewis had been found “alive and well” was shared in a 2021 interview with Baskin on ITV’s This Morning where she talks about an alleged report by the Department of Homeland Security which had concluded that Lewis was alive and living in Costa Rica. This report is also mentioned in the second series of Netflix’s Tiger King.

Baskin said: “One of the really exciting things that came out of Tiger King 2 is that they produced a letter from Homeland Security and it says that a special agent in charge with the FBI at Homeland Security reached out to the sheriff’s detective George Fernandez, which means this had to have happened after 2002, because Homeland Security wasn’t even around until 2002.”

She continued: “And they said that my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica. And yet all of this hay has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance, when Homeland Security has known where he is at least since back then.”

Despite the claims made in 2021, TMZ have reported that Lewis is still considered missing by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

What happened to Don Lewis?

Lewis went missing in 1997 after leaving his home in Tampa, Florida. The 61-year-old left behind an estimated $5 million and was declared legally dead in 2002 on the fifth anniversary of his disappearance.

Don Lewis (Photo: Netflix)

It’s not known exactly what happened to him. Reported by CBS News, the only trace of him found was his van, which was discovered at a remote airfield, half an hour away from where he had lived with Baskins. The keys were allegedly found still in the vehicle.

Baskin was famously accused of murdering Lewis by Joe Exotic, she has always protested her innocence and denied any involvement in his disappearance.

Where is Don Lewis?

Lewis is still missing, with his exact location still a mystery. The search for him has focussed on Costa Rica, with the businessman reportedly planning to travel to the country days before his disappearance for a business trip.

In 2020, CBS News reported that a tip line for anyone who may have information regarding his location had been set up by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, whilst Lewis’ family had put forward a $100,000 reward. At the time it was announced, Lewis’ oldest daughter Donna Pettis said: “We’re hoping that with [these] funds someone will have the courage to come for forward and provide the information necessary to solve this case.”

What has Joe Exotic said?

Exotic has not commented on the lastest media attention surrounding Baskin’s husband. The Tiger King is currently serving 22 years in prison after he was convicted of hiring someone to kill the Big Cat Rescue CEO.

He has previously claimed that Baskin murdered Lewis and even sang a song about it in which he claimed she fed him to her tigers.