Lauren Smith Fields is a 23-year-old Bridgeport, Connecticut resident. She was a Norwalk Community College student and an aspiring cosmetologist and eyebrow specialist. Lauren tragically died December 12, 2021, after she was reported unresponsive by Matthew LaFountain – a Bumble date she allegedly met just 3 days prior.
Lauren’s family wasn’t notified until several days later after they called the number the police left on her door. There are several things that the family and the public following this case have said the police mishandled. Here are the top 3 contradictions that I have noticed about her case.
1. Bridgeport PD seemingly protected Matthew LaFountain.
When Lauren’s family asked why Matthew LaFountain, the last person to see her alive wasn’t being investigated, they claim that the detective told them that it was due to the fact that he was very nice guy. Since Lauren’s death, LaFountain has not been brought in for questioning, and it’s unclear if he is considered a suspect now. According to The Black Wall Street Times, Lauren’s brother Lakeem Jetter stated,
When I asked the officer about the guy, he said he was a very nice guy, and they weren’t looking into him anymore. It was almost like he was sticking up for him and it seemed weird to hear that from a detective.
I find it strange that the police would rule someone as a suspect just because they seemed nice. Even if the officers wanted to keep this information discreet, it was not appropriate for them to say that he was “really nice”. I worked for the police department for 6.5 years and the level of niceness didn’t sway an officer or detective in ruling out a suspect.
2. Lauren’s brother saw her the night before she was found dead.
Why is this important? According to The Daily Mail LaFountain told police he and Smith-Fields, whom he had known for just three days, spent her last night alive drinking tequila, eating, watching movies, and playing games. The following morning, he found her dead on her bloodied sheets and alerted the authorities.
However, a Rolling Stone article would later advise that Lauren’s brother also saw her that same night when he came by her home to pick up a bag of clothes. He notes,
I didn’t know that anybody was in there. She came out and she was out there for like 10-15 minutes and she walked back into the house. She looked normal. She didn’t look sick, she didn’t look tired, she didn’t look drunk. I’m her second older brother, if I would have seen her drunk, I would’ve said ‘What are you doing?’ … ‘Why do you look like that?’
If Jetter did indeed see her the last night and she was alive and as coherent as he claims, that would negate the claims of her supposed inebriated state. Why would this not prompt detectives to question them both?
3. Bridgeport Police Department allegedly negated collecting several key pieces of evidence.
In the same Rolling Stone article, Jetter says that when the family arrived at Laurens's apartment, they were shocked at what the officers left behind. Jetter elaborated by saying,
The first night we saw cups there, flipped plates, and the lube. The cops didn’t take any of the cups to test the liquor. There was a big stain of blood in the middle of her bed, with streaks going to the right side.
This is as disturbing as it is unprofessional. Securing the crime scene and properly testing DNA evidence is an important and crucial step of the case, and Bridgeport PD dropped the ball on this very standard practice.
What do you all think? Is Bridgeport PD mishandling Lauren’s case? Did the family jump the gun in how they reacted? What do you think the police could have done differently to put the family at ease? Please respond in the comments.