Criminal investigation launched into death of Lauren Smith-Fields
A criminal investigation is being launched into the death of a Connecticut woman who died while on a Bumble date.
Lauren Smith-Fields died on Dec. 12 after going on a date with an older man from the popular dating app. The man, Matthew Lafountain, called 911 to report the 23-year-old woman as unresponsive, noting that she was bleeding from her nose, according to Rolling Stone.
The Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner on Monday released its findings in the case, saying that Smith-Fields’s death was accidental and caused by “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine, and alcohol.”
Due to the presence of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, Bridgeport police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are opening a criminal investigation into the case.
“The Bridgeport Police Department continues to treat the untimely death of Lauren Smith-Fields as an active investigation as we are now refocusing our attention and efforts to the factors that lead to her untimely death,” Bridgeport chief of police Rebeca Garcia told Rolling Stone in a statement.
The findings come after weeks of speculation over the cause of the young woman’s death and amid scrutiny of the police’s handling of the case. Smith-Fields’s family claims the Bridgeport police were disrespectful towards them and that they learned about Lauren’s death from a note her landlord left on her door. Additionally, they claim a detective told them to stop calling with questions about Smith Fields’s death, notes the Hartford Courant.
“The police department has been racially insensitive to this family and has treated this family with no respect and has violated their civil rights,” said the family’s attorney, Darnell Crosland, noting that the family intends to file a lawsuit against the Bridgeport police department.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim on Monday said the case has been referred to the Office of Internal Affairs for an investigation.
“I support and add my voice to the family, community, and elected officials who are calling for state legislation on this issue,” he said, according to the Courant.
The Bridgeport police department did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.