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Don Lewis

‘Tiger King’: Carole Baskin’s longtime handyman says he put Don Lewis in ‘grinder’ [Report]

A longtime employee allegedly said that Carole Baskin’s husband was put into a meat grinder around the time of his 1997 disappearance.

Trish Farr-Payne, whose then-husband Kenny Farr was a handyman for Baskin and Don Lewis, told “48 Hours Suspicion” that Farr “threatened to put me in a grinder,” saying, “If you try to leave me again, I’m gonna put you in the grinder, like I did Don.'”

“I thought he was tellin’ the truth,” Farr-Payne commented.

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“At that time. I thought, you know, at least that is probably the turnin’ point where I knew–I knew deep down that Kenny has some part in Don’s not ever coming back. I knew then for sure.”

Farr-Payne alleged that around the time of Lewis’ disappearance, Farr arrived home in the middle of the night with Lewis’ van. She said the van contained guns that her husband said belonged to Lewis. Farr reportedly said Baskin had told him to hold onto Lewis’ guns.

Farr-Payne alleged that before Lewis’ reported disappearance, her husband told her, “Don’s gone. And — I don’t want you talkin’ about him. If anybody calls, you don’t say anything about Don.”

Farr-Payne told “48 Hours Suspicion” that around the time Lewis vanished, a large freezer with a padlock was placed on their porch. The freezer reportedly disappeared a week after Lewis went missing.

Farr-Payne also claimed that three years after Farr’s revelation, she and Farr had an altercation that was so violent police were called. Farr was ultimately convicted of domestic violence and a gun charge. Farr-Payne said she told the police about Lewis’ disappearance at that time.

Lewis was last seen leaving his Tampa, Florida, home in 1997. Despite claims made by Farr-Payne and “Tiger King” breakout star Joe Exotic, Hillsborough County police have said Baskin is not a suspect in her ex-husband’s ongoing disappearance.

Farr reportedly continued to work for Baskin after Lewis’ disappearance. Baskin denied Farr-Payne’s claims in a statement she issued earlier this month, according to The Wrap.

“If she really feared for her life, and that of her children, wouldn’t she have called the police if she thought her husband had Don Lewis’s body locked in a freezer on her porch?” Baskin said.

“It appears to be more about selling ad space than reporting truth. My challenge to you is to seek out and tell the truth and see if being different from the lemmings doesn’t prove better for you and your company in the long run. People want to be able to believe in reporters again.”

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[Featured image: Don Lewis/Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department]