Bridgeport PD opens criminal investigation into death of Lauren Smith-Fields
The Bridgeport Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the death of a 23-year-old woman who was found dead in her home after an online date last month.
The death of Lauren Smith-Fields was ruled an accidental overdose, but now the circumstances of what caused it are under criminal investigation.
The announcement of the investigation from the Bridgeport Police Department comes a day after the medical examiner released Smith-Fields' cause of death.
The death was ruled an accidental overdose of fentanyl combined with prescription medication and alcohol.
"We do not believe she took those drugs voluntarily, we do not believe if she took those drugs, she knew what she was taking. We don't believe she took them voluntarily at all," said family representative Alexis Farrow.
The family representative of Smith-Fields says they don't feel like the Bridgeport Police Department handled the case properly since she died on Dec. 12.
The family representative says it took weeks to collect evidence, and they were not notified of her death until two days later.
"Of course we care how Lauren died, but we don't want the narrative to change, and we don't want the focus to change. The bottom line is no matter how she passed away, it was not investigated properly, and it was not handled properly," said Farrow.
The Bridgeport Police Department has maintained that they had to wait for the medical examiner's report of the cause and manner of death before they launched an investigation.
State Sen. Dennis Bradley says he is planning to introduce a bill honoring Smith-Fields, which would require police to notify immediate family members of a loved one's death within 24 hours.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help fund a private investigator.
Chief of Police Rebeca Garcia released a statement:
“The Bridgeport Police Department continues to treat the untimely death of Lauren Smith-Fields as an active investigation as we are now refocusing our attention and efforts to the factors that lead to her untimely death. We have engaged several partners to assist with this portion of the investigation. Once again, we offer our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Lauren Smith-Fields and ask that anyone with information to please contact 203 576-TIPS.”