The family of Lauren Smith-Fields is calling for justice after the Connecticut chief medical examiner’s office ruled her death as an “accident.”
The medical examiner determined that Smith-Fields’ cause of death was “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol,”—ultimately ruling the manner of death an “accident.”
Twenty-three-year-old Smith-Fields was found unresponsive in her home on December 12, 2021, by a Bridgeport Police Department officer after receiving a call from was a man she had met on the Bumble dating app. She had been on a date with him the night before.
The man told police they had taken tequila shots before Smith-Fields became sick in the bathroom. She then went outside before returning to the bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes. He says they continued drinking before they both fell asleep. The man claims he then woke up at 3. a.m. Smith-Fields was snoring. Hours later, he woke up and saw blood coming from her nose. He also noticed that she was not breathing.
Smith-Field’s family is now planning to sue the department as they do not believe the Bridgeport Police Department “failed to implement the proper crime scene investigation team to collect physical evidence” and “refuse to view the last person to see Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest.”
“The way they handled her investigation was literally disgraceful, disgusting, horrible. It was not even human,” Lakeem Jetter, Smith-Fields’ brother, said in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
“I just could not believe that my little, my baby sister was gone.This loss is so devastating to us. I never lost a sibling before. My mother has never lost a child before.”
They believe the department’s actions were “racially motivated.”
“This family is not paranoid,” attorney Darnell Crosland told CNN. “The reason it feels that way is because as of late, Gabby Petito was missing and the type of manhunt that was out for her killer was insurmountably different than we see here.”