Lauren Smith-Fields: So many questions left unanswered


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The tragic death of Lauren Smith-Fields is caught in the crossfire between her family and authorities.  

Tiffany Persaud, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Lauren Smith-Fields, 23-year-old woman residing in Bridgeport, Connecticut, died in her apartment on Dec. 12, 2021, due to an apparent overdose. It is alarming that the media has barely covered Smith-Field’s suspicious death as most people found out via Twitter.  

Smith-Fields was a vibrant personality, being a former track star, she was on her way to becoming a physical therapist. She was not known as an alcoholic drinker or drug user, so her family has reason to believe that her overdose was not accidental. They have publicly questioned if racism may explain why the Bridgeport police were allegedly so careless in their investigation of the scene.  

They say detectives failed to collect evidence, notify her family of her death, or investigate the last person she was seen with – an older, white man, Matthew LaFountain, whom she met up with earlier that evening on a Bumble date. LaFountain claims he found her at 6:30 a.m. not breathing with blood dripping from her nose.  

Concerned about the authority’s lack of aggression in solving the Smith-Fields case, rapper Cardi B tweeted on Jan. 25 to help raise awareness. After weeks of activism by her family and others, Bridgeport police finally opened a criminal investigation. 

Date rape drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB (gamma hydroxybutryic acid) are extremely difficult to detect since they are odorless, colorless and tasteless. Currently, there is no concrete proof that Smith-Fields was drugged by her Bumble date. But the toxicology report says completely otherwise. It showed opioid, sedative and alcohol ingestion. Her date told the police that he and Smith-Fields had been drinking tequila. But why would a woman with no known history of substance abuse be found with fentanyl and antihistamines in her tequila?  

In consequence, on Jan. 31, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim said that two detectives involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave and are being investigated by the Bridgeport Police Department’s internal affairs office.