Lauren Smith-Fields’ cause of death revealed as family prepares to sue city of Bridgeport

Smith-Fields reportedly died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol.

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The Connecticut medical examiner’s office has revealed the cause of death for 23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields, who was found lifeless in her apartment last month. 

According to ABC News, Smith-Fields died of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol. CNN reports her cause of death was ruled an accident by Dr. Christopher Borck of Connecticut’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Shantell Fields, Lauren Smith-Fields’ mother, stands with family members during the rally demanding answers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Sunday, which would have been the dead woman’s 24th birthday. (Photo: Ned Gerard/AP)

The announcement from the medical examiner’s office comes a day after Smith-Fields’ family shared that they plan to sue the city of Bridgeport for what they describe as a lack of transparency and humanity from officials at the police department probing her death.

As reported Monday, Smith-Field’s family held a rally on Sunday, which would have been her 24th birthday. Dozens of her friends, family members and residents of the Bridgeport community came together to call for answers from police officials and to honor the life of the young woman, who died under mysterious circumstances last month.

The family’s attorney, Darnell Crosland, filed legal notice of the planned lawsuit against the city of Bridgeport and the Bridgeport Police Department, alleging Smith-Field’s death wasn’t properly investigated, and that her and their civil rights were violated. 

The family has not released a statement since Smith-Field’s cause of death was publicly announced. Previously, they said they planned to pursue an independent autopsy. 

“Lauren Smith-Fields wasn’t given the treatment that she should have been given,” Crosland said this week on Good Morning America. The family alleges police “failed to implement the proper crime scene investigation team to collect physical evidence” and “refuse to view the last person to see Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest.”

Smith-Fields was last seen with a man she met on the dating app Bumble, who has been identified by The Daily Mail as Matthew LaFountain. According to an ABC News report, LaFountain told authorities he and Smith-Fields were drinking in her apartment, and at 3 a.m. he heard her snoring, but later that morning, he awoke to find blood was coming out of her nose, and she was unresponsive. Numerous reports have noted Bridgeport Police called the man a “nice guy.” The police wrote in their report that he was “frantic,” and when he answered the door he was “trembling and visibly shaken.” 

The investigation into Smith-Field’s death was “literally disgraceful, disgusting, horrible. It was not even human,” her brother, Lakeem Jeter, said on Good Morning America. 

As previously reported, to make their case that Bridgeport Police engaged in an intentional “lack of humanity,” Smith-Field’s parents, Everett Smith and Shantell Fields, allege that despite authorities possessing multiple items that identified their daughter, they only learned of her death days later after discovering a note on her front door — from her landlord — with a number to call.

“No one,” said Fields, “is going to discard my daughter like she is rubbish.”

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