So Tragic: Lauren Smith-Fields Was Found Dead in her Connecticut apartment. Her Family Beg for Answers.

Here’s what The New York Times had to say

Ms. Smith-Fields, 23, died in her Connecticut apartment in December after a date with a man she had met on Bumble. More than a month later, the police opened a criminal investigation.

Bumble is an online dating application. Profiles of potential matches are displayed to users, who can “swipe left” to reject a candidate or “swipe right” to indicate interest.

Shantell Fields had not heard from her daughter all day. “Are you OK?” Ms. Fields texted. “Please let me know.”

Her texts and phone calls went unanswered, so on the evening of Dec. 13, she and her son went to her daughter’s apartment in Bridgeport, Conn., and found a note on the door.

“If you’re looking for Lauren, call this number,” the note read. Ms. Fields called and waited by the car. Soon, the landlord came downstairs.

Shantell Fields mother of Lauren Smith-Fields

“I started panicking,” Ms. Fields said, choking back tears. “All I could do was just stand there, like if I was frozen. I could not believe what he was telling me, that my baby was gone.”

Ms. Fields’s daughter, Lauren Smith-Fields, had been found dead the day before. Ms. Fields said the Bridgeport Police Department never informed her family about the death.

The landlord gave them the number for a detective, who told her son in a phone call that Ms. Smith-Fields, 23, had been on a Bumble date with an older man before she died. But the detective provided little additional information, Ms. Fields said, and hung up abruptly during a subsequent phone call.

Weeks passed after her death, her family said, with few updates provided by the authorities. On Sunday, which would have been her 24th birthday, they were joined by friends, community members and activists as they marched to the Bridgeport mayor’s office, demanding that something be done. They had a cake, sang “Happy Birthday” and released pink and red balloons into the sky.

Following the march, the mayor, Joseph P. Ganim, made what appeared to be his first substantive remarks about the case. He confirmed an earlier statement by the Police Department that the handling of Ms. Smith-Fields’s death was being investigated by the Office of Internal Affairs. A spokeswoman for the police said that the detective who had spoken to the family, Kevin Cronin, had been moved off the case. 

“Death notifications should be done in a manner that illustrates dignity for the deceased and respect and compassion for the family,” Mr. Ganim said.

Read more The New York Times

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