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'Tiger King' Star Carole Baskin Breaks Silence After News Her Ex-Husband Don Lewis Was Found Alive In Costa Rica Goes Viral

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Jan. 19 2023, Published 5:53 p.m. ET

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Carole Baskin opened up on ex-husband Don Lewis' mysterious disappearance after news that he'd been found alive and well in Costa Rica in the early 2000s went viral.

Baskin alleged in a recent statement that she was "not aware" of Lewis being discovered by the agency "until TK2 [Tiger King 2] aired" in late 2021.

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Lewis was reported missing in 1997. His abandoned truck was found near a private airfield not far from Baskin's Big Cat Sanctuary in Florida.

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At the time, the Tiger King personality claimed her former husband had told her he was going to fly to Costa Rica — although his license had been revoked at the time, he was still educated on how to pilot a plane — prior to his disappearance. Lewis allegedly "owns property in Costa Rica" and had traveled there regularly in the past.

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In a November 2021 interview, Baskin shockingly revealed that Homeland Security had written a letter confirming a special agent working with the FBI bad found out that Lewis was in fact, "alive and well" in the Central American country.

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The reality star confessed she was "glad to hear" her ex was alive, as she hadn't been certain that he would be "capable of supporting himself" alone. She also added she'd been under the impression that he'd taken $1 million with him to "prove to himself that he could make a living."

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However, despite Baskin's claims and the supposed Homeland Security letter meant to prove Lewis' whereabouts, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the department in charge of the missing person's case, told an outlet they had not been made aware that he'd ever been found alive.

"We are aware of these unconfirmed reports," a State Department representative told a separate outlet. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."

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Baskin and the State Department spokesperson spoke to The Sun.

TMZ reported Hillsborough County Sherriff's Office didn't know Lewis was alive.

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