The Mystery of Don Lewis: A Two-Decade Search for Answers
Don Lewis was a wealthy businessman and animal rights activist who disappeared in 1997, under mysterious circumstances. His disappearance has remained unresolved for over two decades, and his family and friends are still searching for answers. Despite extensive investigations and allegations of foul play, his body has yet to be found. This article explores the mystery of Don Lewis and the continued efforts to find his remains.
The Life of Don Lewis
Don Lewis was the founder of Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation of big cats. He was passionate about animal welfare and was known for his activism against the trade of exotic animals. However, his personal life was tumultuous, and he faced allegations of domestic abuse from his second wife, Carole Baskin. Despite this, he continued to build his animal sanctuary and his business empire in the real estate and trucking industries.
The Disappearance of Don Lewis
In August 1997, Don Lewis vanished without a trace. His van was found abandoned at a private airport in Pasco County, Florida, but there was no sign of him. The investigation into his disappearance uncovered a web of lies, accusations, and eccentric behavior. Many believe Carole Baskin, his second wife, to be responsible for his disappearance, but no charges have been filed.
Carole Baskin and Don Lewis had a tumultuous marriage, and they frequently argued over his animal conservation efforts. According to Lewis\’ family and friends, he had talked about leaving her and taking a trip to Costa Rica. However, Baskin maintained that he had been suffering from mental health issues and that he may have fled to Costa Rica on his own. She also claimed that Lewis had been abusive towards her and that she had obtained a restraining order against him.
After Lewis disappeared, Baskin inherited his estate, which was estimated to be worth $6 million. His family claimed that the will was forged and that Baskin had manipulated him into signing it. They also alleged that Baskin was involved in his disappearance and that she had been motivated by his wealth. However, Baskin has repeatedly denied these allegations and has accused his family of spreading misinformation.
The Attention on Don Lewis\’ Disappearance
The disappearance of Don Lewis has been the subject of numerous investigations, documentaries, and true-crime podcasts. The case gained national attention when it was featured in the Netflix true-crime docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The documentary explored the bizarre world of big cat breeding and the feud between Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic, a former big cat breeder who was convicted of attempting to hire a hitman to kill Baskin. The documentary also raised questions about Baskin\’s involvement in the disappearance of Don Lewis.
The Search for Don Lewis\’ Remains
Despite the attention that the case has received, Don Lewis\’ body has yet to be found. In 2020, the Hillsborough County Sheriff\’s Office reopened the case and asked for tips. However, the investigation has not yielded any new leads, and the case remains unsolved. To this day, his family and friends continue to search for his remains and to seek justice for his disappearance.
The Legacy of Don Lewis
The mystery of Don Lewis\’ disappearance has captured the public\’s attention and has raised important questions about animal welfare and domestic violence. It has also highlighted the flaws in the legal system and the difficulty of solving cases without physical evidence. Lewis\’ disappearance has left a void in the lives of his family and friends, and they continue to hold out hope that his body will someday be found. The mystery of his disappearance may never be fully resolved, but his legacy lives on through his animal sanctuary and his commitment to fighting for animal rights.