Bridgeport Ct woman’s murder hits close to home

On Sunday, December 12th, 2021, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Lauren Smith-Fields was found in her apartment unresponsive, and would, later, pass away. Her death was first reported to police by an older white man she had met on the dating app, Bumble. 

The medical examiner has yet to release her cause of death. This prompted Lauren’s father, Everett, to pay out of pocket for a second autopsy to be done because the family felt uneasy about the way the investigation has been handled, and, as Mr. Smith-Fields said, that their family knew “without a doubt” their daughter was not a drug user. 

Lauren’s family had brought up to authorities that older white man she met on Bumble. However, her brother Lakeem Jetter told local news reporters that when they asked police about this individual they “made it seem like the guy was a nice guy” and “there was nothing to investigate.” 

Lauren’s father described the minuscule interactions the family had with the local authorities as insensitive, to reporters, and “the only contact that we have had was from a very insensitive, condescending, and arrogant detective.”

The City of Bridgeport issued a statement about the investigation that said, “The Bridgeport Police Department takes these concerns very seriously. The Command Staff of the Detective Bureau is reviewing the handling of this case to ensure the best practices were and are being followed. It is imperative to note that the death of Lauren Smith-Fields remains an ongoing investigation. Our department extends its deepest condolences to the family of Lauren.”  

While this case hasn’t had any coverage by mainstream news outlets until a month after her death by Rolling Stone, it has been picked up on social media; specifically, TikTok, where it has gained a lot of traction. A lot of people on social media have compared the lack of coverage of Smith-Fields’ case, a black woman, to Gabby Petito’s case, a white woman, whose case was being covered by the hour and had made national headlines. 

People have equated this disparity in news coverage to “missing white woman syndrome”; a term used to describe the phenomenon of the media’s extensive and excessive coverage of young white women who go missing. The phrase was first coined by the late American Journalist Gwen Ifill, in 2004. We have seen this phenomenon occur for decades from JonBenét Ramsey in 1996 to Natalee Holloway in 2005. 

In an article released by Yahoo News on January 11th, 2022, the family told reporters that when they gained access to their daughter’s apartment after finding out about her death, Ms. Fields said she immediately noticed evidence that the police hadn’t collected. In Lauren’s bedroom, she found a condom with semen inside, and somewhere else in her apartment they found a pill that the family believed to be a sedative. 

“(Bridgeport Police) want us to disappear, be quiet and just shut up,” Ms. Fields said. “And that’s not gonna happen… Just like I told the police department: You’re going to forever remember Lauren Smith-Fields’s name.” 

The family of Lauren Smith-Fields has announced that they plan to take legal action against the City of Bridgeport because of the way police have handled their investigation of Lauren’s death.

The family’s attorney, Darnell Crosland has come out and said “We’re filing a lawsuit in Bridgeport to compel them to process this case, to protect this family and to give them the equal rights they deserve under the Connecticut Constitution” says family attorney Darnell Crosland. 

The family has opened a GoFundMe to raise money to have a thorough investigation done, the link for the GoFundMe is