Family of Black Woman Found Dead After Bumble Date With 'Older White Man' Files Lawsuit Against Connecticut Police Over Alleged Mishandling of Investigation

Family of Black Woman Found Dead After Bumble Date With ‘Older White Man’ Files Lawsuit Against Connecticut Police Over Alleged Mishandling of Investigation

The family of a woman who was found dead after a Bumble date has filed a lawsuit against police in Connecticut over her death. 

On December 12, 23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields was found dead in her bed following a first Bumble date with an “older white man” named Matthew LaFountain. The morning after their date, LaFountain woke up next to Smith-Fields and called the police when he saw she had blood coming from her nose and was unresponsive. 

During his conversation with police, LaFountain claimed Smith-Fields exhibited strange behavior during their date. He says the young woman threw up, and at one point during the evening, went outside to talk to her brother for several minutes, BET.com reports. According to a police report, La Fountain told an officer he found Smith-Fields’ actions to be “odd” but didn’t say anything to her because he felt he didn’t have the right. 

Since the incident, the Bridgeport Police Department has reportedly never taken LaFountain into custody, and they never subjected him to questioning, despite him being the last person to see Smith-Fields alive. And it wasn’t until a month after her death – when the case went viral on social media – that the department decided to launch an investigation. 

Now, Smith-Field’s family says the department mishandled the woman’s death and says certain details from their report don’t add up. Smith-Field’s brother, Lakeem Jetter says his sister did not appear drunk when he saw her. Jetter said when he came to pick up a basket of clothes from her, he “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?'”

The family says there were many details or potential evidence that the police never tried to look into. “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,” Jetter told Rolling Stone. “There was a big stain of blood in the middle of her bed, with streaks going to the right side.” Other potential evidence items that were allegedly left behind by police included a used condom, lubricant and an unidentified pill in the unit, The Daily Mail reports. 

The family also says the Bridgeport police were rude to the family when they would ask the officers questions. “In the beginning of this nightmare our family was extremely mistreated by The Bridgeport Police Department who as we stated initially declined to investigate Lauren’s untimely death,” the family wrote on the GoFundMe page, BET reports. “Although BDP has now decided to begin to conduct an investigation, our family would like to conduct one of our own!” 

Jetter told NBC Connecticut that one of the department’s detectives hung up on him. “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,” Jetter said. “He told me directly on the phone to stop calling him and hung up in my face, it was just like total disrespect like that’s what you tell a family that’s going through grief and trying to find answers?” 

The family has set up the GoFundMe page so they can raise money to hire a private investigator. 

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