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Cause Of Death Released For Woman Found Dead In Fairfield County After Date

Lauren Smith-Fields
Lauren Smith-Fields Photo Credit: Lauren Smith-Fields/Instagram

A cause of death has been released for a Fairfield County woman who died while on a date with a man she met on an app.

Lauren Smith-Fields, age 23, of Bridgeport, was found dead in her apartment on Sunday, Dec. 12 by Bridgeport Police after an "older white man" who she met on a dating site called to report her death, the family said.

Since her death, the family has been battling with the Bridgeport Police Department over how it was handling the investigation, or lack of an investigation, in the family's opinion.

On Monday, Jan. 24, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death to be “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine, and alcohol,” and the manner to be accidental.

Since her death, the family said Bridgeport Police have asked them to stop calling and have asked that the investigation be taken over by state police.

The family also is seeking an internal affairs investigation into the handling of her death and is asking lawmakers to pass legislation requiring loved ones to be notified within 24 hours when someone is found dead.

Smith-Fields was found dead after meeting up with a man named Matthew LaFountain from the dating app Bumble.

According to an incident report, obtained by the family's attorney, Smith-Fields’ body was found by LaFountain after a night of drinking and eating. He claims he found her around 6:30 a.m. on the floor bleeding from the nose. He called 911 to report her death.

The family was not notified of her death by police, instead, they found out from Smith-Field's landlord when they visited her apartment after not hearing from her in a couple of days.

Bridgeport Joe Ganim released a statement when he was called out by the family for being silent on the issue.

“First, sensitivity and care is of utmost importance when working with the family of a victim,” Ganim’s statement said. “There is no tolerance for anything less than respect and sensitivity for family members and their loss. To that end, this matter has been referred to the Office of Internal Affairs to conduct a full and fair investigation.”

The mayor also said he would work with the Bridgeport Police chief on its policy about notifying families of a death.

The family has not commented since the cause of death was released.

Bridgeport police said they encourage anyone with information on the investigation to contact Narcotics and Vice Lieutenant Charles Johnson at 203-449-2195 or the Bridgeport Police TIPS Line at 203-576-TIPS.

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