The Hillsborough county sheriff looking into the case of Carole Baskin’s missing husband has said he’s receiving up to six tips a day and has begun reviewing the evidence. 

The case was elevated into a hot topic after the release of Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which details the feud between Joe Exotic and Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin, who ultimately became the intended target of Exotic’s alleged murder-for-hire plot, which has since landed him in jail.

Baskin was married to Jack Donald Lewis, who disappeared on August 18, 1997. Earlier this week, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister took to Twitter to ask for new leads, since ‘Netflix and coronavirus quarantine made Tiger King all the rage’.



Following the release of the documentary, Chronister has received a large amount of information, telling CNN his office gets about six tips a day.

He commented:

We are already receiving new tips and we hope to close this cold case soon with the help of the public.

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.

Joe Exotic Tiger KingNetflix

So far none of the leads have led to anything credible, however on March 31, Chronister announced the assignment of a detective supervisor to chase down any new leads generated after the documentary.

The sheriff said:

If you have seen the series… there was a lot of questions and theories of who was loyal and was someone really there as a spy.

So what we’re hoping is maybe someone has had a change of heart, maybe a relationship status has changed. Anything that will prompt someone to call with a legitimate lead, a piece of evidence.


He said the last action on the case took place in 2011, when Carole Baskin was asked to take a lie detector test.

Others involved in the case agreed to take the test, but Baskin declined, citing her attorney’s advice that ‘it wouldn’t vindicate her of anything’, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Chronister stressed how complicated the case has been, explaining:

We’ve tried over the years… to do everything we can to try to solve this case. And so far, there’s been no evidence, and unfortunately, we weren’t in this technological era that we are now.

There was no GPS and cell phones, something that probably would help us solve this case if it would have occurred now.

Carole Baskin

The sheriff made clear he is prepared to dedicate resources to solving the case.



He commented:

We’ll dedicate the entire homicide section and beyond. There’s nothing more important to us than bringing justice to his family – his family who received no inheritance from an individual who fled.

Have you ever heard of a case where a wealthy individual fled, for whatever the reason was, and didn’t take their money with them?

Carole Baskin's missing husband
Hillsborough County Sheriff

In one episode of the Tiger King, Exotic and others speculate Baskin may have been responsible for her late ex-husband’s death, and that she covered it up by feeding his remains to the tigers at her sanctuary.

Baskin has denied all allegations, and slammed Netflix for devoting a segment of the show to ‘suggesting, with lies and innuendos from people who are not credible, that [she] had a role in the disappearance of [her] husband’.



Chronister said investigators have never found enough probable cause to charge anyone with a crime, or even to determine that a crime had been committed.