Cadaver dogs appear to have picked up the scent of human remains near a Florida lake house belonging to Carole Baskin’s missing husband, Don Lewis.
Lewis – who started a Tampa animal sanctuary which later became Big Cat Rescue Corp – vanished a day before a scheduled trip to Costa Rica back in 1997.
Despite the fact he was legally declared dead back in 2002, his disappearance garnered global interest earlier this year following Baskin’s star appearance in the Netflix documentary, Tiger King.
Lewis’ remains have never been found and Baskin denies having anything to do his disappearance. However, her arch nemesis, Joseph ‘Joe Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage, has made wild claims that she fed Lewis to tigers.
In a new Investigation Discovery special titled Tigers, Lies And Cover Ups – set to air this coming Sunday – private detectives take another look at the case, and bring it cadaver dogs to help try and locate Lewis’ remains.
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Cadaver dogs appear to have picked up the scent of human remains near a Florida lake house belonging to Carole Baskin’s missing husband, Don Lewis. Lewis is pictured at left prior to his disappearance, Baskin is seen at right
Baskin is the rival of Tiger King star Joe Exotic who shot to global fame this year on Netflix. A federal judge in June granted control of the Oklahoma zoo that was previously run by Maldonado-Passage – also known as Joe Exotic – to Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corp
In a new Investigation Discovery special titled Tigers, Lies And Cover Ups – set to air this coming Sunday – private detectives take another look at the case, and bring it cadaver dogs to help try and locate Lewis’ remains
In one scene from the upcoming special – shared with DailyMail.com – Captain Mike Hadsell from Peace River K-9 Search & Rescue brings along a trained dog as he scours the waters right by Lewis’ lake house.
The female dog is disturbed by the scents she picks up, whimpering and barking as the boat circles one portion of the lake.
‘There’s something in that lake, there’s something that’s causing the dog to continuously alert on the west side of the lake near Don Lewis’ house,’ an investigator states.
Meanwhile, Baskin is currently competing on the new season of Dancing With The Stars, with Lewis’ daughters using the opportunity to speak out
Last week, Lewis’s three daughters Gale, Lynda and Donna, along with his former assistant, Anne McQueen, made heartfelt pleas for information about his disappearance during a commercial break on the hit ABC show.
In one scene from the upcoming special – shared with DailyMail.com – Captain Mike Hadsell from Peace River K-9 Search & Rescue brings along a trained dog as he scours the waters right by Lewis’ lake house
Investigators believed human remains may be at the bottom of a lake close to Lewis’ home
Carole Baskin is now appearing on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. During her first routine last week, she poked fun at claims she fed her missing husband to their tigers by dancing tothe 1982 smash Eye Of The Tiger
Lewis’s three daughters Gale (back right), Lynda (front right) and Donna (back left), along with his former assistant, Anne McQueen (front left), made heartfelt pleas for information about his disappearance as they were joined by family attorney John Phillips
During the commercial, family lawyer John Phillips said: ‘Don Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997. His family deserves answers, they deserve justice.
‘Do you know who did this or if Carole Baskin was involved?’
The family’s advert appeared during a commercial break as Baskin donned a tiger-print dress to cut across the floor with pro dancer Pasha Pashkov for season 29 premiere of ABC’s celebrity ballroom competition.
Baskin freed Pasha from a cage filled with stuffed tiger animals as they performed to the Eye of the Tiger, the theme of the 1982 sports movie Rocky III.
‘Hey, all you cool cats and kittens,’ Baskin said using her catchphrase during her introduction video from Tampa, Florida.
‘My life got turned upside-down by the documentary Tiger King. If somebody told me last year that I would be on season 29 of Dancing With The Stars, I I would have laughed out loud.’
Baskin performed to the Eye Of The Tiger with pro partner Pasha Pashkov during the season 29 premiere of Dancing With The Stars on ABC
There are rumors that Lewis’ wife Carole Baskin (pictured) fed her husband to tigers at their rescue farm in a bid to secure his fortune. She has strenuously denied the allegations
Last month, Lewis’s family held a press conference in Tampa and announced an independent investigation into his disappearance.
Lewis’s van was found near the airport after he went missing and he was declared legally dead in 2002.
Baskin was offered a lie detector test in 2011 but she decline to take it.
She is now married to Howard Baskin.
Cadaver dogs appear to have picked up the scent of human remains near a Florida lake house belonging to Carole Baskin’s missing husband, Don Lewis. The couple are pictured together back in the early 1990s
Carole is now married to Howard Baskin (pictured left) and she has not been charged in Lewis’ disappearance
Lewis’ body was never found and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister recently reopened the case.
‘We’re going to serve (Baskin) with a lawsuit, but not a lawsuit for damages, it’s a lawsuit for equity,’ Phillips said during the briefing at Riverhills Church of God on August 10.
The bill of discovery would allow them to get information before deciding who to sue. It means depositions or subpoenas could be on the cards.
‘Generally you announce a $150 million lawsuit and how we’re going to get justice. And we are going to do all of that in time,’ Phillips continued. ‘But our office wants to invite reason, to invite civil conversation where it can be had.’
It comes after the hit Tiger King documentary about Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as ‘Joe Exotic,’ an eccentric former Oklahoma zookeeper.
Earlier this year, Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot.
He was convicted of trying to hire someone to kill Baskin, who had tried to shut him down, accusing the Oklahoma zoo of abusing animals and selling big cat cubs.
In retaliation, Maldonado-Passage raised questions about Baskin’s former husband. The documentary extensively covered Maldonado-Passage’s repeated accusations that Baskin killed her husband and possibly fed him to her tigers.
Maldonaldo-Passage is currently in prison. A federal judge in June granted control of the Oklahoma zoo that was previously run by Maldonado-Passage – also known as Joe Exotic – to Big Cat Rescue Corp.
Baskin previously sued Maldonado-Passage for trademark and copyright infringements and won a $1 million civil judgment against him. The judge found that ownership of the zoo was fraudulently transferred to Maldonado-Passage’s mother in an attempt to avoid paying the judgment.
In March, the Hillsborough County sheriff asked for tips in the case of Lewis and announced a reopening of Lewis’ case.