Family of Conn. Woman Who Died After Bumble Date Challenges Coroner's New 'Accidental' Death Ruling

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed Monday Lauren Smith-Fields died from a drug overdose

Lauren Smith-Fields
Lauren Smith-Fields. Photo: Lauren Smith-Fields/Instagram

The lawyer for Lauren Smith-Fields' relatives believes the recent determination that the Connecticut woman died last month from an accidental overdose demands a more exhaustive investigation of just what happened — including a closer look at the last man to see her alive.

"This looks further like a manslaughter," the family's lawyer, Darnell Crosland, told WTNH Monday evening. "It looks more like a murder, and if the police don't start acting fast, we're going to have a real big problem on our hands."

PEOPLE confirms the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the 23-year-old student and TikTok influencer died of "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine, and alcohol."

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"To find out that all of these substances are in their daughter's body that basically took her life, they're so angry right now," Crosland told WTNH.

The office deemed her death last month an accident.

Smith-Fields was found dead Dec. 12 on the floor of her Bridgeport, Conn., apartment. The Stamford High School graduate, who was taking classes at Norwalk Community College and working as an eyebrow specialist, died the morning after going out with a man she had met three days prior through the dating app Bumble, according to an incident report.

Authorities have said there was no foul play involved in Smith-Fields' death, but her family isn't convinced. They are alleging the city's police continues to inadequately investigate her death.

Relatives contend Smith-Fields was last seen alive by her Bumble date, who they note was in his late 30s.

Police have not released the man's name. They say he is the one who called 911 after realizing her nose was bleeding and she had stopped breathing, according to the incident report.

"Find out whether he has a drug connection to someone," Crosland told the station.

Relatives allege police told them that Smith-Fields' Bumble date "was a nice guy," and that "there was no need to investigate" him for her death.

Crosland recently filed a notice of claim with Bridgeport, alerting them of his intent to sue the city "in an effort to obtain due process."

The notice, obtained by PEOPLE, alleges, "The Police Department has been racially insensitive to this family, and has treated this family with no respect and has violated their civil rights."

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It adds that the city's police have "failed to investigate this matter, and they refuse to view the last person with Lauren Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest. This behavior is unacceptable."

Bridgeport Police has not responded to repeated requests for comment. In a statement issued earlier this month, the department said the investigation into Smith-Fields' death was ongoing.

Hundreds marched in Bridgeport on Sunday — what would have been Smith-Fields' 24th birthday — demanding justice for the young woman outside the city's police department.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim promised there will be an internal investigation into the department's handling of this case.

"Sensitivity and care are of utmost importance when working with the family of a victim," reads the statement. "There is no tolerance for anything less than respect and sensitivity for family members and their loss. To that end, this matter has been referred to the Office of Internal Affairs to conduct a full and fair investigation."

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