Florida law enforcement have confirmed that the will of Don Lewis, “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s missing late husband, was forged.
Hillsborough County, Florida, sheriff Chad Chronister said the forgery was confirmed by two experts to have been faked in an interview with 10 Tampa Bay News. The confirmation comes after Lewis’ attorney, John Fritz, told Nancy Grace in an interview on Fox Nation’s “Crime Stories” in late May that he believes the signature “was traced.”
The forgery is something Chronister says he has also long believed to be the case.
“I had already told them that two months ago,” Chronister said in a video interview, which you can watch above. “They had two experts declare it a forgery. We knew that before, because the girl who came forward and said, ‘Hey, I was forced to say I witnessed these signatures.'”
Baskin responded to the findings Wednesday with the following statement to TheWrap: “I don’t have any comments other than what is posted at BigCatRescue.org/netflix where you will find that all of the documents were authenticated by at least two expert firms and everyone involved in the conservatorship agreed by stipulation ratified by the court to their authenticity.”
Lewis has been missing since 1997, and Baskin has assumed his estate, which has been valued to be worth an estimated $10 million, according to Fox News. Lewi’s family was cut out of the will, and though his body was never found, he was considered legally dead in 2002.
In the third episode of “Tiger King,” Joe Exotic accuses Baskin of killing Lewis and feeding his body to the big cats at her wildlife rescue in Tampa. Baskin has previously denied having any involvement in her husband’s death. Soon after the series rose to popularity, Chronister reopened the case and began seeking new information regarding Lewis’ disappearance.
Chronister also Tuesday said that because the statute of limitations has already expired and the will has already been executed, no legal action can be taken. “But it certainly cast another shadow of suspicion, by all means,” he said.
He would not confirm whether Baskin is a being considered a suspect, but he said investigators “have some great leads.”
“They’re working through them. I hope something pans out,” he said. “Fingers crossed… I hope we can finally solve this case.”