“Tiger King” alum Carole Baskin made her debut “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night – and her past was unexpectedly dug up during a break in the show. An advertisement that asks for information about, aired at local Florida markets during the premiere episode. Lewis’ family and their lawyer showed up at the scene.
Lewis, who disappeared in 1997, was married to Baskin, who owns a large cat rescue in Florida. During the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King” in 2020, a rival rescue owner known as Joe Exotic claimed that Baskin killed Lewis and even claimed that she put him in a meat grinder and fed him to his big cats. Baskin has denied the allegations and she was never charged with a crime, but fans of the documentary series glared at it.
“We miss our father,” Lynda said in the ad.
“We need to know what happened to our father,” Donna said.
“Don Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997. His family deserves answers. They deserve justice,” Phillips said. “Do you know who did this or if Carole Baskin was involved?”
The family revealed a $ 100.00 reward for information related to Lewis’ disappearance and encouraged viewers to call their tip line.
In a YouTube video released Monday ahead of the “DWTS” premiere, Phillips revealed that the ad was airing, calling it a “public service announcement.” The lawyer said while Lewis’ story was getting a lot of attentionand “Tiger King,” “remains the real question.”
“Someone out there knows that. We need help. We need help solving this,” Phillips said. “Someone knows more about Don’s last hours on Earth, and we need to be interested in what happened. We all need to be indifferent, and we need to all help solve this cold case.”
Phillips also held onein Tampa on Monday and announced an independent investigation into Lewis’ disappearance, the Associated Press reported.
He said he was suing Baskin, who was Lewis’ second wife, on behalf of the Lewis family, in an attempt to deposit her and get her to speak on the record. Phillips and his family have also paid for billboards in the Tampa area asking for information in the case.
Lewis disappeared a day before a planned trip to Costa Rica, and his body was never found. He was declared legally dead in 2002. He and Baskin started the animal area, which later became Big Cat Rescue Corp. in Tampa, Florida.