Besides Baskin, a former handyman at the sanctuary, Kenny Farr, also “didn't interview with us," the detective said.
It's unusual for a spouse or relative to refuse to cooperate when a family member goes missing, and Baskin is a person of interest, though others are too, Garcia said.
Baskin said Thursday in an email to The Associated Press that she has referred Garcia to her attorney. She pointed out she did everything she possibly could to assist detectives after Lewis' disappearance, including interviews, continued correspondence and unfettered access to the Big Cat Rescue property.
“There is nothing that I know that is not either in the Sheriff’s files or in the diary I have published at SaveTheCats.org,” Baskin said. “And no way I am going to have a clearer memory, or anything to add, twenty-four years later.”
In response to a question on Reddit this week, Baskin wrote that she believed that Lewis took off in a small experimental airplane that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
“He wasn’t licensed to fly, yet did all the time. He couldn’t file a flight plan and had to take off from closed airports to evade detection," Baskin said. “I think this was the most likely scenario."
Baskin recently sued Netflix and a production company to try to prevent the use of interviews and footage involving her in the "Tiger King" sequel, which was released Wednesday. Netflix countered that Baskin and her husband agreed in writing that the material could be used in the future and that she is trying to block the company's First Amendment right to free speech.
Garcia said he is confident Lewis' disappearance will be solved.
“If you ask a homicide detective if he can solve a case, and he says no, you should take away his badge," he said.