BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) – The Bridgeport Police Department Narcotics and Vice Division has opened a criminal investigation into the death of TikTok influencer Lauren Smith-Fields following the medical examiner’s report.
On Dec. 12, 2021, police received a call for an untimely death. When officers arrived, they found Smith-Fields died “unexpectedly,” and as protocol, according to police, the detective bureau took charge of the untimely death investigation.
The family of Smith-Fields demanded answers from officials and held a rally on Sunday. Her parents, Shantell Fields and Everett Smith, said they had been trying to get in touch with their daughter and didn’t find out about her death until they discovered a note on her front door from her landlord two days later.
According to an incident report obtained by News 8, a man Smith-Fields met on a dating app told officers he woke up next to Smith-Fields to find that “blood was coming out of her right nostril” and “she was not breathing.” The responding officer describes when he arrived, the man appeared “frantic” and was “trembling and visibly shaken.” The documents state the man told them he had only known Smith-Fields for three days, and she got sick while they were drinking the night before. He also told them at one point Smith-Fields was in the bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes but eventually came out and fell asleep.
Smith-Fields died from “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol” and her death was accidental, the medical examiner’s office said Monday.
As a result of the report, the Bridgeport Police Narcotics and Vice Division opened a criminal investigation. They will be assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to Bridgeport police, fentanyl is a strong narcotic associated with an epidemic of opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States.
“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.”Bridgeport Police Chief Rebeca Garcia
Smith-Fields’ family attorney said they confirmed with the State Lab Monday that they never received physical evidence from Lauren’s home, including a pill used as a sedative, a condom, and “a round blood stain in the middle of [Smith-Fields’] bed.”
Former Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said when it comes to collecting physical evidence when first responding to an untimely death and securing the scene, they are looking for signs of foul play and illegal items.
“Generally some of that incidental items that are there paint the picture and go toward the story, but evidentiary value to specifically document everything that is there, you know, may or may not be done,” MacNamara said.
“Until you know that the individual died as a result of drug use, it’s very difficult to establish that initially if you don’t have outward signs of drug use,” MacNamara said.
Bridgeport City Council Member Maria Pereira represents the district where Lauren Smith-Fields lived. She has more questions than answers after learning the autopsy results.
“The question is, was she a willing participant in the taking of the fentanyl or is there any potential that she was drugged?” Pereira said. “Although I’m pleased by the investigation, I’m concerned that there’s a real issue with how the evidence was collected and handled and secured.”
Pereira hopes in time, the family and community get some answers.
“They just want to know the truth and I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know if we’re ever going to get the truth,” Pereira said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact police at 203-449-2195.