The man reportedly contacted police about the victim’s death, but was not detained for questioning.
A Bridgeport, Connecticut, family has been left devastated and in desperate need of answers after their 23-year-old relative was found dead inside her apartment.
Lauren Smith-Fields was found unresponsive in her Bridgeport apartment on Dec. 12 after she met an older white man on the dating app Bumble. The man, who has not been named, reportedly contacted police about Smith-Fields’ death and he was not detained for questioning, Westchester News 12 reports.
Lauren Smith-Fields / YouTube screenshot
Lakeem Jetter, the brother of the victim, told the outlet that an arrest wasn’t made because officers said the man was “nice” and “didn’t need to be investigated.”
Smith-Fields’ father said the family has had to deal with a “very insensitive, condescending and arrogant detective.”
Smith-Fields’ mother reportedly wrote a letter to the Bridgeport Police Department about her daughter’s case, but they never responded. Councilwoman Maria Pereira says police owe the victim’s mother an apology.
“She sent a really well-written email — it was lengthy, it was extensive, it was very detailed — and I was shocked when she told me just yesterday she had not even received a response,” said Pereira.
The city’s medical examiner has not yet revealed the cause of Smith-Fields’ death. The family has reportedly paid for an independent examination due to the Bridgeport Police Department’s poor handling of the case.
“Without a doubt, we know that my daughter was not a drug user, and I had a second autopsy myself paid out of pocket because we felt so uncomfortable with the way it was handled,” Smith-Fields’ father, Everett Smith, said.
Some reactions on social media have noted that “white privilege” is the reason why the police, so far, don’t consider this mysterious white male a suspect.
One Instagram user wrote, “That old white man does not want his family to know he was doing whatever with a young BW. He called somebody he knew on the force and they are covering it up.”
Another user commented, “Ted Bundy got away with his crimes for so long because he was “charming” & ya know… Yt privilege.”
A third noted, “We watched the world search for that white girl and her killer…. but yet nothing for this young lady!!!”
An investigation into Smith-Fields’ death is reportedly ongoing.
Smith-Fields’ family says she was a track star at Stamford High School, and was taking cosmetology classes at Norwalk Community College. According to reports, she also ran a side business to help pay for school.
The City of Bridgeport addressed the case in a statement, noting that police are taking the family’s concerns “very seriously.”
“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 that 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.”
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