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‘Super lawyer’ is probing 1997 disappearance of Carole Baskin’s missing husband Don Lewis

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Super lawyer to the stars is now probing 1997 disappearance of Carole Baskin’s first husband Don Lewis – and he already has a ‘key’ witness amid claims missing man was murdered

  • Don Lewis’ family have hired famed attorney Alex Spiro to investigate his disappearance – and believe he was murdered
  • Spiro-whose celebrity clients include rapper Jay-Z and singer Mick Jagger- is already said to have a ‘key’ witness into Lewis’s disappearance 
  • Carole Baskin’s first husband went missing in 1997 after leaving his Tampa, Florida home. He was never seen again, and was declared dead in 2002
  • Baskin has repeatedly denied any involvement in Lewis’ disappearance – including claims she fed him to tigers – and has since remarried
  •  The Hillsborough Sheriffs Office has asked anyone with leads in the cold case to contact the department

The family of Carole Baskin’s missing first husband Don Lewis have hired famed attorney Alex Spiro to investigate his disappearance – and believe he was murdered 

Spiro – a top attorney whose celebrity clients include rapper Jay-Z and singer Mick Jagger- is already said to have a ‘key’ witness into Lewis’s disappearance. 

The missing man’s family are said to be keen for him to turn his findings over to prosecutors, TMZ reported. 

Spiro has previously prosecuted high profile criminal cases, including serial killer Rodney Alcala. He also previously investigated the cold case disappearance of Kathleen McCormack Durst, the first wife of suspected serial killer Robert Durst.

Now Spiro will take on the Lewis case, which has remained unsolved for 24 years.    

Famed attorney Alex Spiro (pictured)  has been hired by Don Lewis’ family to take on his 24-year cold case

Don Lewis (pictured) co-founded the big-animal sanctuary Wildlife on Easy Street with his wife Carole Baskin. He vanished in 1997 and was declared dead in 2002, although no body was ever found

Don Lewis (pictured) co-founded the big-animal sanctuary Wildlife on Easy Street with his wife Carole Baskin. He vanished in 1997 and was declared dead in 2002, although no body was ever found 

Don Lewis and Carole Baskin (pictured together) married in 1991 after 10 years together. The couple met while both married to other people

Don Lewis and Carole Baskin (pictured together) married in 1991 after 10 years together. The couple met while both married to other people 

Lewis went missing in 1997 after leaving his Tampa, Florida home. 

After an extensive investigation and search, he was declared legally dead in 2002 and most of his estate, estimated to be worth around $5 million, was left to Baskin.    

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said he believes Lewis was murdered and is actively trying to solve the case, which as of last year had no active leads. 

Lewis’ case was brought back into the limelight in 2020 following the release of the immensely popular 2020 Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King’ which starred his ex-wife Carole Baskin. 

Don Lewis' daughters and ex-wife (pictured) were featured in the Tiger King documentary and said they had suspicions surrounding Baskin

Don Lewis’ daughters and ex-wife (pictured) were featured in the Tiger King documentary and said they had suspicions surrounding Baskin

The Hillsborough Country Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with leads in Don Lewis' cold case to contact the department

The Hillsborough Country Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with leads in Don Lewis’ cold case to contact the department

Carole Baskin (pictured) has denied any involvement in her former husband Don Lewis' 1997 disappearance

Carole Baskin (pictured) has denied any involvement in her former husband Don Lewis’ 1997 disappearance 

Netflix's 'Tiger King' documentary focused on the feud between Joe Exotic (pictured) and Carole Baskin

Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ documentary focused on the feud between Joe Exotic (pictured) and Carole Baskin

The documentary, which focused on the feud between Baskin and Oklahoma zoo runner Joe Exotic, looked into Lewis’ disappearance and Baskin potential role. 

Lewis’ daughters and his first wife Gladys appeared in the documentary and suggested they believed she was involved in his disappearance. 

Lewis and Baskin married in 1991 and together they founded the big-animal sanctuary Wildlife on Easy Street, which would later be renamed Big Cat Rescue and run by Baskin.

Baskin’s nemesis Joe Exotic has suggested she fed Lewis’ body to tigers to get rid of any physical evidence, a claim Baskins has vehemently denied. 

After the docuseries was released, many people on social media became convinced Baskin played a part in Lewis’ disappearance, but she has repeatedly denied any involvement and has since remarried. 

She has said she hopes the mystery will be solved so that people will stop accusing her of killing Lewis.

Baskin explained: ‘Can you imagine having people think you killed your husband or wife and not being able to prove otherwise? Without a body, there is nothing I can do to clear my name.’ 

Baskin and Lewis are said to have suffered marital difficulties before his disappearance, which included Lewis regularly traveling to Costa Rica to cheat on his spouse, it is claimed.

He was said to have displayed signs of Alzheimer’s disease by Baskin shortly before vanishing, although investigators say there is no proof this was the case.  #

Carole has since married her third husband, Howard Baskin.  

The Hillsborough Sheriffs Office has asked anyone with leads in the cold case to contact the department.

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