UPDATED 4/1, 10:25 a.m. ET: Don Lewis' attorney, Joe Fritz, tells TMZ that he's on board with the Hillsborough County Sheriff in Florida looking into Lewis' disappearance.
Fritz explained that he would be more than willing to cooperate with authorities. "I would bring them in my home in a heartbeat and offer them a beer," he said.
Fritz added that he's grateful for the success of Tiger King, and the renewed interest in Lewis' disappearance. He also suggested that as the newly opened investigation continues, more information about the circumstances surrounding Lewis' disappearance will come to light.
See original story below.
With the surging popularity of Netflix's Tiger King docu-series, police are looking for new leads on the disappearance of Carole Baskin's husband. Jack "Don" Lewis was last seen on Aug. 18, 1997, and his disappearance is still an active cold case. Multiple people in the doc have accused Baskin of killing him, and then feeding him to her cats at the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said his department is looking for any leads or information about Lewis' disappearance. "Since @netflix and #Covid19 #Quarantine has made #TigerKing all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads," he tweeted alongside a photo asking for help solving the cold case. Baskin has continually denied the allegations she killed her husband, releasing a statement in which she denounced the documentary's portrayal of her.
Chronister told CNN that he receives about six tips a day.
"We are already receiving new tips and we hope to close this cold case soon with the help of the public," Chronister said. "Since the documentary came out we've been receiving about six tips a day related to this case. We are looking into each one thoroughly."
Nobody has been charged in connection with his disappearance, although he was declared legally dead five years after he vanished. Joe Exotic has suggested that Baskin fed Lewis to her tigers, but she has since called that allegation "the most ludicrous of all the lies." She added, "As Gladys and the daughters did everything they could to make life difficult for me after Don disappeared, they spread this rumor that they thought I had ground Don up and fed him to the cats. And the media loved it. The meat grinder shown in the video was enormous. Our meat grinder was one of those little tabletop, hand crank things, like you’d have in your kitchen at home."
Fans of Tiger King recently launched a petition to get the FBI to reopen the investigation into Lewis' disappearance. "It’s obvious that Carole did, in fact, murder her millionaire husband and feed his remains to tigers," the petition reads, pointing towards jokes she had made that would indicate she did it.
Meanwhile, another petition was started to have Donald Trump pardon Joe Exotic, while a third is asking for the Big Cat Safety Act to be passed in order to stop the private breeding of big cats.