A criminal investigation opened in the death of Lauren Smith-Fields

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BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (NewsNation now) — A criminal investigation has been officially opened into the death of 23-year-old Connecticut black woman who died on a date with a man she met on a popular dating app.

The Bridgeport Police Department announced Tuesday that it will investigate Lauren Smith-Fields’ death as a felony, and will be assisted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

“The Bridgeport Police Department continues to treat the untimely death of Lauren Smith-Fields as an active investigation as we now refocus our attention and efforts on the factors that led (sic) to her untimely death,” the official said. Bridgeport Police Chief Rebeca Garcia. in a statement to NewsNation.

On Monday, the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner released its findings in the case, saying Smith-Field’s death was accidental and caused by the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol.

Smith-Fields was found dead in her home on Dec. 12 after going on a date with an older white man, whom she met on Bumble. The man who was with Fields told the police they were drinking tequila shots and Fields got sick. He carried her to his room, lay down next to her and fell asleep. He also told officers he woke up next to Smith-Fields at 6:30 a.m. to find “blood was coming out of her right nostril” and “she wasn’t breathing.” That’s when he called 911.

From the start, his family wondered what really happened to him and whether the police properly investigated his death.

“Losing your daughter, your only daughter, your granddaughter, at the ripe old age of 23 and being treated like we [were] treated by the Bridgeport Police Station and the department is unacceptable,” said Everett Smith, Lauren’s father.

The family held a rally on Sunday to demand answers from officials and honor the life of the social media influencer. The police are now investigating where the drugs came from and whether someone gave Lauren a lethal cocktail.

The family’s attorney, Darnell Crosland, has also filed a notice of lawsuit against the city of Bridgeport, hoping it will spur action in the case.

“So we’re very upset and we had to file this notice of lawsuit because we have to compel answers and we have to compel due process,” he said.

The family say the police did not gather enough information to validate a decision that it was an accident and that they were “racially insensitive” in her case. Her parents also said they didn’t learn of her death until they discovered a note on her front door from her landlord.

Anyone with information regarding the Smith-Fields case is urged to contact the Bridgeport Police Department at 203-581-5219 or the Anonymous TIPS Line at 203-576-TIPS.

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