Lauren Smith-Fields was found deceased in her apartment last month (December 2021), and her family is frustrated with the lack of information they are receiving from the Bridgeport, Connecticut Police Department concerning the investigation.
Lauren was 23-years-old and her last known interaction was with Matthew Lafountain, a White male she had recently met on the dating app Bumble.
Bridgeport police told the family that Matthew is no longer a suspect because he is a “nice guy.”
As if that makes any sense.
The family sent the following email to city leaders last month detailing their daughter’s case and the missteps taken by the Bridgeport Police Department:
I am writing this email on behalf of the Smith-Fields family. I am writing this email completely concerned and disheartened not only as a family member of the victim but a citizen and tax payer in the State of Connecticut.
On Monday December 13th my family began to call and text our beloved Daughter, Sister, Niece, and Friend Lauren Smith-Fields continuously with no prevail.
With Lauren being such the family oriented young woman that she was we knew this was completely out of character for her not to respond. Around approximately 8:00pm, Lauren’s Mother Shantell and Brother Lakeem decided to go to Laurens home at 33 Plymouth Street.
Upon their arrival they were met with a note on the door stating “If you’re looking for Lauren call this number”.
Completely confused and frightened Lauren’s Mother and Brother contacted Laurens landlord Hector.
Hector then informed them that “Something bad happened” and that Lauren was indeed deceased. Hector then proceeded to give them a card with Detective Cronin’s phone number on it. Lauren’s brother Lakeem then called Dt. Cronin.
When Dt. Cronin spoke with Lauren’s brother Lakeem, he told him that Lauren was indeed expired and her body had been removed from the scene. He told Mr. Jetter that Lauren met a man later identified as Mr. Matthew Lafountain on a dating website called Bumble for the first time. He explained that Mr. LaFountain came to visit Lauren and she seemed to be feeling ill.
He went further into detail and told Mr. Jetter that Mr. Lafountain stated Lauren went to meet Mr. Jetter at 9:30pm and stayed outside for a few minutes, came back, and began to vomit uncontrollably. Dt. Cronin then told Lauren’s brother that Mr. Lafountain also stated that he carried her into her bed, and laid with her checking on her twice, once at 3:00am and the next at 6:30am when he noticed she was bleeding out of her nose and mouth.
Lakeem then asked Dt. Cronin “Are you investigating this?” He responded to Lakeem and said “I don’t think there is anything to investigate, he seems like a really great guy. I was here when the medical examiner investigated and there are no signs of foul play and they were both fully dressed”. Dt. Cronin then stated that he would be willing to come to the scene at 33 Plymouth Street and speak with them and they agreed.
They continued to wait in front of the home upset, grieving, and confused for 45 minutes to be unmet with Dt. Cronin or anyone from the Bridgeport Police Department. Mr. Jetter and Ms. Fields then left the scene of the incident and gave Dt. Cronin’s phone number to Lauren’s father Everett Smith. Mr. Smith then called Dt. Cronin to clarify then information given earlier to Lauren’s brother Lakeem.
When Mr. Smith called Dt. Cronin he was met with a response that said “I already talked to your ex wife, and you can talk to her”. Mr. Smith then stated that he had his own questions that he wanted to ask Dt. Cronin that were not previously asked. Dt. Cronin then said it was late, he was off work, and could not continue to communicate.
Upset and feeling like they were not being heard, Mr. Jetter called Dt. Cronin again for Dt. Cronin to answer and say “Why do you keep calling me, I told you everything I know” and continued to hang up in his face.
After taking a day to process on this tragedy and wait for law enforcement to gather more information and potentially visit or contact us we decided to visit the Bridgeport Police Department on Wednesday December 16th, 2021. In the lobby we asked to speak with Dt. Cronin and told he was off for the day and there was a different detective on duty that they would be able to speak with.
While meeting with this detective they explained what information they had in great detail. The detective seemed utterly appalled, and shocked at the way the family was talked to, ignored, and kept uninformed.
As of today, Thursday December 16th, 2021 we still have not spoken with Dt. Cronin nor anyone else from the Bridgeport Police Department. We have questions for this detective, Captain Gilleran, and Chief Garcia.
My main question to all of you is since when is an investigation based on someone being a “good guy” or “good person”? Or does Dt. Cronin know Mr. Lafountain as he is a resident of Milford which is only about 6-10 miles away from Bridgeport?
In the police force are investigations initiated based on personal belief of someone’s character or evidence provided? If investigations are initiated based on evidence presented then how was an investigation not properly preformed?
Based on the incident report provided to us today it was stated that Lauren was bleeding from her nose in mouth, how does this explain a pool of blood in the middle of her bed and not at the head of the bed where her pillow was and she was laying?
We were told by Dt. Cronin that Lauren and Mr. Fountain did not engage in any intercourse as per Mr. Fountains word, but how would Dt. Cronin know? This morning we found a used Trojan Condom in Lauren’s bathroom trash can that was left on the scene. Did Dt. Cronin see the condom in the bathroom?
We also found an open tube of lubricant on her dresser that was half full. This tube was a small miniature tube used for 1 time use. Did he bother to look around the home? Or based on his judgement on Mr. Fountain being a “good guy” did he not bother to check? Before we hire private investigator I would like to formally invite and insist detectives return and gather the evidence that was found by our family and overlooked by detectives.
If this condom were tested and was indeed holding semen from Mr. Lafountain proving what he stated was not true and him and Lauren indeed had intercourse would he still be considered a good guy?
I along with the voters in this state demand better not only from our police department but our local officials. I also would like to schedule a meeting with our family and your detectives, and officers involved with this case.
Our beloved daughter, sister, niece, and friend deserves to have her death properly investigated by our authorities who we are supposed to trust and who are supposed to serve us. Again, investigations should NOT be based on personal belief.
We understand that the medical examiner was at the scene and saw no foul play in the human eye, but what if she finds different during her autopsy? Will an investigation start then? Or by then would it be too late to review and collect physical evidence?
I will close this first email of many by further expressing my hurt, anger, and absolute disgust at how my grieving family was talked to and treated during this difficult time. My family deserves a heartfelt apology and a thorough investigation into the untimely death of Lauren Smith-Fields.
If an investigation determines Lauren’s untimely death was not suspicious, or was not led to by neglect of any kind we will take the information with stride and work as a family to begin to heal from this tragedy, but if for any reason this continues to drag on and any of Mr. Lafontaine’s statements are proven to be false, uncorroborated, and complete lies through an independent investigation we will not rest until everyone is held accountable for their actions. I look forward to speaking with you soon, and am open to meeting as soon as possible.”
The Fields family recently appeared on NBC Connecticut news to voice the deplorable treatment they received from the Bridgeport Police Department for simply inquiring about the investigation of their loved one’s death.
Watch the NBC Connecticut news report below:
The family has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to hire an independent investigator in hopes of attaining the closure they need to move forward.
The family has also announced plans to file a lawsuit against the police department.
Please share this story so we can get Justice for Lauren.
Source: NBC Connecticut