When ‘Tiger King’ started streaming in early 2020, the docuseries from Netflix turned out to be a surprise hit. Involving everything from scarcely believable storylines to conspiracy theories, it left the viewers wanting more. Now, the series is back with its second season, and it further digs into the disappearance of Don Lewis in 1997. Ever since then, Don’s daughters have worked to find answers to what happened to their father. So, if you’re wondering where they might be now, here’s what we know!
Don Lewis’ Daughters’ Tiger King Journey
Don Lewis, the eccentric millionaire, had three daughters with his wife, Gladys Lewis, before he divorced her in 1990. Their names are Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone. Growing up, they remembered a happy childhood, with Gale saying, “We had a variety of animals. We would come home from school, and there’d be a baby alligator swimming in the bathtub.” In another interview, Donna, the eldest, said, “He had the Midas touch.”
By 1991, Don was married to Carole after continuing an affair with her for about a decade. Around six years into their marriage, Don suddenly vanished without a trace. At the time, the family felt that Carole had something to do with Don’s disappearance. They believed that she killed him and fed his body to the cats they had on their property. Donna said back then, “It’s a perfect scenario to dispose of someone. We were upset that the cops didn’t test the DNA on the meat grinder.”
However, Carole brushed away the thought saying, “My tigers eat meat; they don’t eat people. There would be bones and remains of my husband out there. I’m amazed that people would even think such a thing.” But the investigators did not find any evidence that connected Carole to Don’s disappearance. Despite chasing down many leads, the case went nowhere, and it has since remained a mystery.
At the time, Carole refused to take a polygraph test, something that struck Lynda as curious. She added that her father suddenly disappearing without notice was not expected, saying, “None of this is like my father. Yes, he goes off on business trips, but he never went 24 hours without calling in.” After Don vanished, the daughters were engaged in a legal battle with Carole regarding his assets.
After ‘Tiger King’ aired, there was renewed interest in Don’s case. In August 2020, the family announced a $100,000 reward for any information regarding Don’s disappearance. At the time, the family retained John Phillips and his law firm, who were to conduct an independent investigation of the case. Gale talked of missing her dad, adding,” Twenty-three years I’ve gone to bed every night knowing the only chance I have of seeing him again is in my dreams.”
Where Are Don Lewis’ Daughters Now?
In September 2020, Don’s daughters released an ad during Carole’s debut on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ where their lawyer hoped for answers regarding Don’s disappearance. In it, John asked, “Do you know who did this, or if Carole Baskin was involved?” They also filed a lawsuit against Carole earlier in the same year, asking her to turn over any information regarding Don that would help the case. However, the family moved on from John’s law firm after that. As per Donna’s social media post from June 2021, Alex Spiro, a New York attorney, was retained by the family to work on the case. All three sisters seem to live in Dade City, Florida, and have continued to work hard to keep their father’s story in the spotlight.
Read More: Where is Carole Baskin Now?