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The Ongoing Investigation into the Tragic Death of Lauren Smith-Fields

Lauren Smith-Fields, 23, died in her Bridgeport, Connecticut apartment on Dec. 12 after meeting up with a man she met on the dating app, Bumble. Her tragic death has been ruled an accident, but Fields’ family and lawyer have suspected her death was the result of foul play from the beginning. The Bridgeport Police Department has launched an investigation into Lauren’s death.

Lauren’s family wasn’t notified of her death until Dec. 13 from Lauren’s landlord and not the police department. Lauren’s family has had to fight for answers to what led to and caused her death while simultaneously grieving her loss. Lauren’s mother, Shantell Fields, has said they have struggled in finding out what is being done to bring her daughter justice. The Fields family and their lawyer, Darnell Crosland, have felt Lauren’s case has been poorly mishandled by the Bridgeport Police Department. 

When Fields’ mother finally learned what happened to Lauren over a day after she was pronounced dead, she was put into contact with Detective Cronin, who was handling Lauren’s case at the time. In a New York Times article, Ms. Fields says that Detective Cronin has dismissed her concerns, and she has had to push for work to be done in Lauren’s case, such as asking for evidence to be collected from Lauren’s apartment. Because of the mishandling of Lauren’s case and the lack of media coverage in comparison to when a similar occurrence happens to a white woman, Lauren’s family and the public feel as though it is because Lauren is a black woman.  

A medical examiner has ruled Lauren’s death an “accident.” As stated in a CNN article, the medical examiner determined Lauren’s death resulted from “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol.” 

The two were messaging on Bumble for about three days before Lauren and him decided to meet in person. In a CNN article, it’s stated that Lauren and the man she met up with from Bumble were drinking the evening before her death. According to the man from Bumble, Lauren vomited in her bathroom after they took shots of tequila, but after she became sick in the bathroom, she returned and they continued to drink, eat, play games and watch a movie. When he realized Lauren had fallen asleep, the man carried her to her bedroom and then fell asleep beside her in bed. In the early morning hours of Dec. 12, the man noticed Lauren was bleeding from her nostril, so he called 911. The man from Bumble was described by Detective Cronin as a “really nice guy” to Ms. Fields’ son in the same New York Times article

Detective Cronin is currently removed from Lauren’s case and is being investigated by the Bridgeport Police Department’s internal affairs office, as noted in an ABC News article

The Fields’ family and lawyer are determined to uncover the truth and bring Lauren justice. Here is the GoFundMe the Fields family has set up to help conduct their own investigation into Lauren’s death to find out what really happened to Lauren Smith-Fields: https://gofund.me/23daad37

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I am a freshman at Florida State University, studying political science and English. I hope to pursue a career in journalism. I'm passionate about politics, art, literature, and films!
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