Culture

Say Her Name: Lauren Smith-Fields

Updates on the suspicious death of the 23-year-old, who was found dead after a Bumble date.

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Say Her Name: Lauren Smith-Fields

Updates on the suspicious death of the 23-year-old, who was found dead after a Bumble date.

UPDATE (February 2, 2022): After public outrage over Lauren Smith-Fields’ case, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim reports that changes have been made internally. Bridgeport law enforcement has placed the two detectives on the case, Detectives Kevin Cronin and Angel Llanos, on leave. Ganim shares that these detectives were placed on immediate leave after a “lack of sensitivity to the public and failure to follow police policy.”

The detectives on this case had shown insensitivity on several occasions. They did not inform the family of Smith-Fields that their loved one was dead. After the victim’s brother inquired about his sister’s Bumble date, the detectives told Smith-Fields’ brother not to assume any foul play because the date, Matthew LaFountain, seemed like a “nice guy.”


UPDATE (January 26, 2022): Last month, the family of Lauren Smith-Fields not only lost a loved one, but was never notified by law enforcement of her death. This week, officials reported that the case is now being investigated as a crime.

The family attorney Darnell Crosland shared that a detective told Smith-Fields’ brother that her Bumble date was “a nice man” and that he should not “jump to any inclusions.” Crosland reported that the botched investigation and new medical examiner’s report cannot and will not distract from the truth. “The family is not paranoid,” he shares.

The family of Smith-Fields has filed a claim against the city of Bridgeport, including Mayor Ganim, Chief Rebecca Garcia and the other officers on the case as well.

Mayor Ganim, who is also listed on the claim filed by Smith-Fields’ family, acknowledged the family’s heartbreak. ”I share concerns echoed by many about the amount of time and manner a family is informed of a loss. Death notifications should be done in a manner that illustrates dignity for the deceased and respect and compassion for the family,” Ganim states.

As a result, Mayor Ganim has notified Internal Affairs to conduct a full investigation.


ORIGINAL STORY (January 24, 2022): Black TikTok influencer Lauren Smith-Fields was found dead in her apartment December 12, 2021. Her death is rather suspicious considering she had went on a Bumble date with Matthew LaFountain, a white male 15 years her senior the night before.

Smith-Fields was found in her room with unmarked pills that could have been used as a sedative, a condom and a pool of blood in the center of her sheets. When the police arrived, no evidence was collected and LaFountain was let free after alluding she overdosed — although Smith-Fields was not a drug user.

Upon the death of Smith-Fields, her family was not notified she passed. CSI (Crime Scene Investigators) also did not show up to the scene of the crime until days after. By that time, her parents had found her and provided CSI with the blood stained sheets and pills found in the apartment.

Smith-Fields’ family has reported that they have not received any updates or information from law enforcement. They’ve had to hire their own private investigators to gain some understanding of what took place. As a result, a negligence claim has been filed.

It has been over a month since the wrongful death of Smith-Fields, and her family is still seeking answers. Law enforcement informed them that they are not investigating the white male whom she went out on a Bumble date with.

This past weekend, the Bridgeport family and their community rallied in her name and demanded answers on what would’ve been her 24th birthday. The “Justice for Lauren” rally began at the Bridgeport Police Department and ended at the city government center. Smith-Fields’ mother has made it clear she’s not giving up until the negligent officers are fired and she’s been given answers on what happened to her daughter.

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