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‘It Is Forged’: Sheriff Confirms They Knew ‘For A While’ That The Will Belonging To Carole Baskin's Missing Husband Was Faked
The signature of Don Lewis, whose suspicious disappearance was made infamous by Netflix's "Tiger King," was faked, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The will of Carole Baskin’s former millionaire husband Don Lewis — whose mysterious Florida disappearance is explored in Netflix’s wild hit “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" — was forged, authorities say.
“It is forged,” a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told Oxygen.com on Wednesday. “It is something we knew for a while.”
They said that the forgery cannot result in criminal charges because the statute of limitations is up.
Lewis' former lawyer Joseph Fritz told Fox News in May that he thought Lewis’ signature was traced onto the legal document from his client's 1991 marriage license. Fritz's then-theory fueled even more rumors and speculation about Lewis' vanishing. As “Tiger King” pointed out, after Lewis disappeared in 1997, Baskin produced a power of attorney document and will that gave her control and ownership of his estate. The docuseries suggested Baskin may have played a role in his disappearance, allegations she has vehemently denied. Lewis was declared legally dead in 2002. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced in April that he believes Lewis’ disappearance was a homicide.
Chronister told WTSP in Tampa this week that recently two experts deemed the signature on the will to be “100 percent a forgery.”
He said investigators already knew it was forged after a woman came forward and claimed that she was “forced to witness and say that I witnessed the signature.”
By the point she came forward, he said, the will had already been executed and it was past the statute of limitations.
Chronister said that investigators now have some “great leads” on the case, including from Lewis’ children and a former office manager.
Despite rumors that Baskin was involved in Lewis’ disappearance, she has never been named a suspect. Baskin declined to comment when contacted by Oxygen.com regarding the forgery confirmation. She referred Oxygen.com to a previous blog post she authored in which she refuted allegations put forth in “Tiger King.”
"Don was not easy to live with and like most couples we had our moments," she wrote on that blog post. "But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance."