ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The relatives of a Florida male who disappeared in 1997 and who appeared on the hit Television collection “Tiger King,” has employed a lawyer and is presenting $100,000 in exchange for info to help resolve the situation.
Attorney John Phillips held a information convention in Tampa on Monday and declared an impartial investigation into Don Lewis’ disappearance. He also explained that on behalf of the Lewis spouse and children, he’s submitted a lawsuit in opposition to Lewis’ 2nd wife Carole Baskin in an try to depose her and get her to speak on the file. He and the spouse and children have also paid for Tampa-location billboards inquiring for data in the scenario.
Lewis vanished a day prior to a scheduled excursion to Costa Rica and was hardly ever found. He was declared legally useless in 2002. He and Baskin commenced the animal sanctuary, which later became Big Cat Rescue Corp. in Tampa, Florida.
A few of Lewis’ daughters were at the information meeting. Lewis’ youngest daughter Gale Rathbone, expressed gratitude for those fascinated in the scenario.
“Amazingly, our very little loved ones tragedy has come to be your tragedy. Our research for closure and fact has grow to be your mission also,” she stated. “We all know by now that (Lewis) was not a perfect male. But do only the perfect amongst us deserve justice?”
In an e mail despatched to the Linked Press on Monday, Baskin said she wouldn’t remark. “It’s been my policy not to focus on pending litigation until eventually it’s been settled,” she wrote. “I had explained to some news shops that I imagined the push convention on Aug. 10 was just a publicity stunt, but at that time was not mindful there would be pending litigation.”
Lewis’ case, and Baskin, were being featured in “Tiger King.” Baskin is even now the owner of Large Cat Rescue, and lobbies for abolishing non-public wildlife possession.
“Tiger King” was a documentary series about Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also acknowledged as “Joe Unique,” an eccentric former Oklahoma zookeeper who enjoys major cats.
Before this year, Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 yrs in jail for his purpose in a murder-for-employ plot. He was convicted of hoping to retain the services of an individual to kill Baskin, who experienced tried out to shut him down, accusing the Oklahoma zoo of abusing animals and selling large cat cubs.
In retaliation, Maldonado-Passage lifted issues about Baskin’s former partner, Jack “Don” Lewis. The documentary thoroughly protected Maldonado-Passage’s recurring accusations that Baskin killed her spouse and potentially fed him to her tigers. Baskin hasn’t been billed with any criminal offense and has consistently launched statements refuting the accusations built in the sequence.
Maldonaldo-Passage is in jail. A federal choose in June granted command of the Oklahoma zoo that was earlier run by Maldonado-Passage — also regarded as Joe Unique — to Big Cat Rescue Corp.
Baskin earlier sued Maldonado-Passage for trademark and copyright infringements and won a $1 million civil judgment versus him. The judge located that ownership of the zoo was fraudulently transferred to Maldonado-Passage’s mother in an endeavor to stay away from spending the judgment.
In March, the Hillsborough County sheriff asked for suggestions in the situation of Lewis and announced a reopening of Lewis’ situation.